LAST week some of Harrow's bravest police officers and members of the public were honoured in the Borough Commander's annual commendation ceremony.
It was the first time the event had been held in a place of worship as family, friends and top police officers attended Kenton Road's Swaminarayan Temple, in Kenton, to praise their selfless acts.
Amongst those celebrated for their heroics were Police Constables (PC) Simon Fretwell and Sasha Hubert, whose quick thinking and disregard for their own safety saved the lives of four people trapped inside a burning house – one of whom was heavily pregnant.
Speaking after being handed the award Sasha Hubert said: “We were carrying out a routine patrol when we were flagged down by a member of the public who was clearly in distress.
“We could see smoke coming from a house in Shaftesbury Avenue, but it wasn't until we approached the house, which was behind the main street, that we realised how bad it was.
“I think that is when the adrenaline kicked in really but as I said to my sergeant afterwards we were just doing our job.
“It is nice to think that the work you've done has saved lives though and of course it is nice to get recognition for that.”
The pair rushed into the home, ablaze after a chip fire, rescuing two women from the first floor flat and an elderly couple from upstairs.
One of the women in the flat was heavily pregnant and despite some smoke inhalation was fine.
Another officer commended by Chief Superintendent Dal Babu, borough commander for Harrow, was PC Kevin Galvin, who pursued a dangerous fugitive facing attempted murder charges.
The criminal, who had been stopped by a Police Community Support Officer for a standard name check in June last year, made a run for it after the check revealed he was wanted for pulling a shot gun on a nightclub reveller in Lambeth.
Despite fears the suspect might be armed PC Galvin gave chase and followed him to a block of flats.
He said: “When he went into the flats I was worried I had lost him because it was a bit of a labryinth in there.
“I went up to a flat upstairs and there was a man standing outside his front door looking a bit out of place so I asked to go inside.
“He said he hadn't seen anything but when I demanded to be let in he didn't try to stop me. I searched around the house and eventually found him hiding in a wardrobe.
“He jumped out a me but luckily I was able to hold him down and get the handcuffs on him.”
In total 27 police staff were commended for their work in the past 12 months, while three members of public and seven partnership workers (working for the council at Harrow Mosque and on community policing groups) were honoured.
A full list of those awarded at Friday's ceremony:
PC Simon Fretwell and PC Sasha Hubert: - For bravery, resilience and initiative in rescuing the occupants of a house fire.
PC Anthony Dawe, PC Jonathan Foster and PC Louise Hamilton-Smith: - For professionalism, bravery and tenacity in making the arrest of an armed and potentially dangerous offender.
PC Daniel Branch and PC Nathan Howe: - For courage and determination when detaining an armed suspect.
PCSO Jose Cambeiro: - For professionalism, dedication and teamwork
PC James Cave and PC Nathan Howe: - For professionalism and leadership at a fatal house fire
PC Sylvia Rattray: - For leadership, professionalism and dedication to duty in building an excellent relationship with Harrow High School.
PC Dominic Pepper and PC Emma Roe: - For courage and determination in detaining a violent criminal
Jackie Fowler and Anna Sedgwick: - For dedication and commitment to intelligence-led policing, directly resulting in the reduction of crime and the arrest of offenders.
PC Kevin Galvin: - For tenacity and courage in bringing a violent offender to justice.
PCSO Hussain Imran Hayder: - For enhancing public confidence and community cohesion through organising a cricket tournament.
PC Jane Livingstone: - For Professionalism, tenacity and dedication to duty.
PC Martin Robinson: - For a professional, competent and effective criminal investigation and for his dogged determination to bring a violent and dangerous offender to justice.
PCSO Wendy Ladyman: - For commitment and professionalism in broadening our knowledge of serious crime.
PC Matthew Williams, PC Dominic Fear, PC Mark Tabram and PC Matt Pham: - For bravery, tenacity and teamwork during a highly dangerous incident.
Police Sergeant Deborah Calaby, Police Sergeant Richard Irlen and PC Mahesh Nandha: - For leadership, professionalism and promoting confidence in the Metropolitan Police Service.
Ghulam Rabbani: - For drive and determination in assisting his community and the police to ensure community cohesion during a period of significant unease (demonstrations outside Harrow Mosque)
Shabban Siddik: - For commitment and skill in ensuring effective communication, supporting police operations and reassuring the community
Finlay Flett: - For Leadership, commitment and acting as the link between police and Harrow Council
Jerry Hickman: - For dedication and leadership of his street cleansing staff and denying weaponry to those intent on violence.
Lynda Anousis: - For drive and determination in delivering unrivalled public service.
Derek Inwood: - For drive and determination in supporting public engagement with the Metropolitan Police Service.
Samia Malik: - For adaptability and commitment. Leading a group of stewards and helping to dispel rumours and providing reassurance to the community.
Member of the public awards
Ifeanyi Obinwa: - For courage and determination in bringing an offender to justice
Sati Lal: - For bravery in rescuing a member of the public at the scene of a serious road traffic accident
Keval Shah: - For leading a team of security guards who have developed an excellent relationship with the Harrow Town Centre team.