Cop who rescued man from bridge nominated for Bravery Award


PUBLISHED 16 May 2024

IN News

A Cambridgeshire Police officer who saved the life of a man who was threatening to jump from a 20ft-high bridge has been nominated for a National Bravery Award.

Sergeant Jamie Cooper risked injury to himself as he grappled with the man, who was armed with a samurai sword and had wrapped a ligature around his neck.

But Jamie managed to disarm the man and then restrain him and prevent him from jumping off the Millennium Bridge in Peterborough.

Now he’s been nominated for the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) Bravery Awards for his actions on 28 April 2023.

Jamie, a Cambridgeshire Police Federation member, said: “It felt like ages but the incident happened really quickly.

“Afterwards, I felt really good about how the situation ended, but the result could’ve been so much worse.”

Jamie was single-crewed when a call came from a member of the public concerned about his friend, who had left a letter at his home saying he was going to take his own life.

Jamie located a man matching the description ‘in an upset and distressed state’ on the bridge. The bridge is around 20ft above the deep, fast-flowing River Nene with a 4ft-high protective railing running along it.

Jamie said: “I was just hoping to tick the bridge off as a location but as I got there I could see a man matching the description.

“All I could see was bright orange wires hanging down. He looked at me and put two nooses over his head.”

Jamie decided he needed to act quickly and ran towards the man.

“It wasn’t until I got near him, I realised he was carrying a samurai sword,” Jamie said. “At that point, it was too late to stop.

“I was committed and had to stop him or otherwise he would have been over the bridge.”

Jamie tackled the man and brought him back over the railings to prevent him from jumping. He kicked away the sword and pinned the man’s arms safe.

He used a set of medical cutters he carries as part of his equipment to cut the ligature, and then restrained the man until back-up arrived.

“It wasn’t until I walked off the bridge and I turned around and looked at it that I realised what had happened,” he said. “It was then that it hit me.”

The man received medical treatment and was arrested for possession of the samurai sword.

At court, he received a community order, a rehabilitation order, the forfeiture and destruction of the sword and was ordered to pay costs.

As well as his nomination for the PFEW Bravery Awards, Jamie has also been nominated for a Royal Humane Society award and the Chief Constable’s Commendation for his actions.

He said: “I was shocked to be nominated for the PFEW award but I’m also really proud of it.

“It does seem a lot for just being in the right place at the right time.

“I’m sure it’s what any officer would’ve done in the same situation.”

Chair of Cambridgeshire Police Federation Liz Groom heaped praise on Jamie for his ‘extremely brave’ actions.

“The courage and bravery Jamie demonstrated that day deserve such recognition,” she said, adding: “Jamie put his own safety at risk that day and undoubtedly, his quick-thinking actions saved that man’s life.

“I wish him every luck in the world at this year’s National Police Bravery Awards. Everyone here at Cambridgeshire Police Federation is very proud of him.”

The annual National Police Bravery Awards are organised by the Police Federation of England and Wales, with this year’s ceremony will take place on Thursday 11 July in London.