M25: Chief Constable’s Commendation
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Roads policing officer PC James Dawson has been commended by Essex Police Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington for his bravery and quick-thinking which undoubtedly prevented a potentially serious collision on the M25.
With the recent easing of Coronavirus regulations, Mr Harrington has been able to recommence his recognition of our officers and staff for exceptional service. A Chief Constable’s Commendation is one of the highest honours Mr Harrington can bestow.
Responding to reports of a vehicle travelling in the wrong direction on the motorway on 15 April 2020, James activated his vehicle’s emergency equipment and headed towards the location near the Bell Common Tunnel.
Unfortunately, the driver failed to respond so, to prevent a serious incident involving other members of the public, James selflessly positioned his vehicle directly in the path of the oncoming car.
This left the driver with no option but to collide with him although, due to the relatively low impact speed, both drivers only sustained minor injuries.
The driver was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and driving whilst unfit through drink. She was later found to be more than three times the legal drink-drive limit. She was jailed for a total of eight months and disqualified from driving for a total of 28 months.
“I feel very honoured to be awarded a Chief Constable’s Commendation.
“Unfortunately, incidents involving a vehicle travelling the incorrect way on our major roads are more common than people may think.
“On this occasion, the driver made a completely unacceptable decision by electing to get behind the wheel of her vehicle whilst intoxicated. The consequences of such actions are, unfortunately, seen far too regularly by my colleagues across Roads Policing.
“At the time, my only thought was that if I didn’t stop this vehicle, it was going to cause serious harm.
“The message should be clear, if you’re going to drive, don’t drink.”
PC James Dawson, of our South Roads Policing Unit
“I ask Essex Police officers and staff to do three things: help people, keep them safe and catch criminals and James did just that.
“People are alive today because of James’ bravery in placing his police vehicle in the driver’s path in order to prevent a potentially far more devastating collision involving innocent drivers on the motorway.”
Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington
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