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Ipswich: Hero officer praised for saving life of man as he attempted to jump from Orwell Bridge

PUBLISHED: 11:49 24 March 2014 | UPDATED: 11:49 24 March 2014

The Orwell Bridge in Ipswich.

The Orwell Bridge in Ipswich.

(c) copyright citizenside.com

A hero police officer was praised for his actions today after grabbing a suicidal man as he was falling from the Orwell Bridge.

Without the actions of the unnamed police constable the man would almost certainly have plunged to his death.

After his life was saved the man, said be in his early 20s and from the Ipswich area, was taken to hospital to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
Chief Superintendent Jon Brighton County Policing Commander said: “Situations such as this can be very difficult for all involved and I am extremely proud of the officer involved and those officers who assisted him.

“The officer dealt with this in a very professional way in a traumatic situation dealing with a vulnerable man.

“Our officers are trained to protect members of the public and in this situation the officer remained calm and measured and undoubtedly helped save the man’s life.”

It us understood that the man attempted to jump into the river as officers tried to coax the man back to safety from the parapet.

Police were alerted to the incident at around 9.50pm last Thursday when they received a number of reports from members of the public.

Drivers told officers they had seen a man walking along and looking over the bridge.

Some were said to have attempted to talk the man out of jumping. When police arrived at 10pm he was reportedly “hanging over the edge”.

A vehicle was also parked nearby.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary said a police dog handler went to the scene and closed off the Orwell Bridge to oncoming traffic.

It was apparent the man was going to attempt to jump from the bridge.

The officer, who does not wish to be named, engaged the man in conversation with the man.

At the time the man was sitting on the edge of the bridge, indicating that he was going to jump.

The officer arranged for the man to speak to a member of his family on the phone.

Other officers arrived at the scene to assist their colleague if required.

After around 30 minutes of negotiation and attempts to get the man to come down.

Initial reports suggested the man had tried to run past the officer, but the dog handler grabbed the man to prevent him falling from the parapet.

The bridge re-opened at around 10.45pm.

The Orwell Bridge is expected to close for the third time this winter as high winds are forecast again on Wednesday night.

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