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Officer commended after being assaulted while responding to M11 collision

Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington presented PC Gill Brettell with the award (Credit: Essex Police)

An Essex Police officer who was violently assaulted by a man as she dealt with a collision on the M11 has been commended for her bravery. 

PC Gill Brettell and a colleague attended a crash involving a van and a moped in February. 

The moped rider and his vehicle were stranded in the outside lane so PC Brettell helped him get to the hard shoulder. 

She and her colleague then went to assist other people at the scene but during that time the man walked off. 

PC Brettell became concerned for his safety as it was dark and traffic was passing at high speed. She requested support from the National Police Air Service. 

They spotted the man walking along the hard shoulder so PC Brettell made her way to him and tried to detain him for his own safety. 

The man threw her to the floor, breaking her hand, and dragged her down an embankment where passing traffic and colleagues could not see her. 

Despite her injury, PC Brettell fought the man off and he ran away into undergrowth. She pursued him so that her colleagues could eventually locate and arrest him. 

The man was later charged with assaulting an emergency worker and received a custodial sentence of six months. 

PC Brettell was commended for her dedication, bravery and professionalism during a dangerous incident.

She said: “I was extremely proud to have received a Chief Constable’s Commendation Award for Bravery.

“The incident placed me into danger in so many ways, I just fought for my life and did what I had to do until help arrived.  

“I was not going to give up and I didn’t!”

Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington presented her with the award. 

He added: “PC Brettell’s actions showed both her courage and tenacity in pursuing this man and detaining him.

“Even after being assaulted PC Brettell continued the pursuit, alone and in the dark until assisted by colleagues.

“Her bravery and dedication to duty are rightly recognised in a Chief Constable’s Commendation.”

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