Heroic police officers praised after saving suicidal Chigwell woman

Two police constables, who smashed their way into a Chigwell flat when they saw through a letterbox that a woman had hanged herself, have been hailed as heroes for saving her life just in time.

Pc Alistair Scott and Pc Shamima Begum are to receive awards from national charity the Royal Humane Society following the dramatic rescue.

Society secretary Dick Wilkinson, who announced the awards at the Society’s London headquarters, said: “These vigilant and heroic officers smashed their way in and cut this young woman down just in the nick of time.

“Paramedics were of the clear opinion that, 20 seconds more, and she would have been dead. They are a credit to the force and thoroughly deserve the Resuscitation Certificates they have been awarded.

“They were the right people in the right place at the right time.”

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Mr Wilkinson said the police were given information the young woman had attempted to hang herself and was still feeling suicidal.

They got to the first floor flat on December 12, 2012, where they faced a UPVC door with frosted glass.

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The flat appeared to be in darkness and they knocked, without response, but Mr Scott noticed some movement inside the flat.

He used his baton to hold open the letterbox while he peered through, and saw a pair of feet suspended above the floor.

Mr Wilkinson said: “He immediately broke the window whilst Pc Begum reported that medical help was required.

“PC Scott took her weight, whilst PC Begum used a pocket knife to cut the ligature.”

No date has yet been fixed for presentation of the award, made on the recommendation of the Metropolitan Police.

The Royal Humane Society awards scheme recognises people for their bravery.

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