Redbridge police officers praised for heroism during London riots

Redbridge’s courageous police officers who brought order during last year’s London riots have been praised by the borough commander.

Awards were handed out to officers, as well as Redbridge Council’s marketing and communication team, street cleansing service, emergency planning team, CCTV team and community safety partnership team.

Borough commander Det Ch Supt Sue Williams said: “I’m immensely proud of the stories of bravery, determination and innovation that have been heard today.

“I love these events because it’s great to be able to express thanks to these people who go the extra mile,” she added.

Two of the commendations awarded were to Sgt Richard Hines, who was called to Tottenham police station on the first day of the protests after the death of Mark Duggan.

He said: “I was sent to the station on the first day of the protest.

“I could see how violent things were getting.

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“In all 15 years of being with the police the only similar thing I have seen is the May Day riots.”

With around 50 police, he battled more than 100 protesters for most of the day.

Despite his chief inspector “crying out for help” at the scene, the way in which staffing was resourced meant no additional officer could be sent.

After offering to deploy officers there twice and being rejected, he persisted and finally the urgency of the situation was recognised.

“I suppose from the control room no one knows how serious things are,” he added.

After a 24-hour shift and three hours sleep, he was sent to Peckham, in the midst of the riots.

He said: “The most frightening thing was the debris, stones and bits of masonry that were being chucked at us.

“Because it was dark we couldn’t see what was being thrown in the air – and more importantly couldn’t dodge it.

“I saw officers carried away on fire engine ladders because no paramedics could get near the area as the protesters were smashing up the ambulances.”

Partner Lisa said: “I had to watch the news to see the state of affairs and what he and the team were facing.

“But part of me couldn’t bear to watch,” she added.