York Minster police constables honoured for amazing acts of bravery

Flashback to September 12 after a man scaled York Minster. Photographs: Richard McDougall
13 Nov 2018 @ 7.31 pm
| News

A York Minster constable who scaled 250m of scaffolding to help a man who had climbed the cathedral is one of two officers to receive a bravery award.

The second constable tackled and restrained a man suspected of violently assaulting two people.

Both Adam Rickers and Beverley Martin will receive commendations for brave conduct at a ceremony in the Minster’s 13th century Chapter House on Wednesday (November 14).

Mark Sutcliffe, Inspector of Cathedral Police at York Minster, said: “These were challenging and dangerous circumstances requiring sensitivity and tremendous bravery.

“Both constables put themselves at enormous personal risk to protect the public and preserve life. They are a credit to York Minster and to the wider community.”

Adam Rickers’ story

Adam climbed to the top of the West End of York Minster. Photographs: Richard McDougall
On September 12, Adam responded to reports of a man on the scaffolding overlooking Dean’s Park.

He climbed the scaffolding, checking each level until he spotted the male sitting on the edge of the Minster’s roof more than 250ft above ground.

Adam walked 15 metres along the roof edge and then climbed a ten-metre pinnacle to get close enough to start a conversation.

He kept the man calm and engaged in conversation for almost 30 minutes until a team from North Yorkshire Police, including a trained negotiator, climbed up to join Adam.

After another hour of careful persuasion, the man agreed to come down from the roof. The officers assisted him down the scaffolding and he was immediately taken to hospital for assessment.

Adam said:

  • Even though we take every precaution to stop people climbing onto the scaffolding, people in crisis are often the most determined in finding a way through and putting themselves in harm’s way.

    It was a horrible situation, at great height on a dark, windy and wet night.

    But there was someone in acute distress and it was my duty as a police officer and a responsible person to go to his aid.

Beverley Martin’s story

The taxi rank at Duncombe Place, York. Photograph © Google Street View
Bev was recognised for brave conduct in pursuing, restraining and detaining a male suspect for violent behaviour outside York Minster on June 15.

The suspect had violently assaulted two people – one of them a man in his eighties.

Bev gave chase, catching up with the suspect as he confronted a group of people waiting for a taxi.

She placed the suspect in handcuffs and despite his verbal abuse and violent struggling, Bev detained him for more than 20 minutes until North Yorkshire Police arrived to take him into custody.

Bev said:

  • It was a dangerous situation and there was real potential for things to escalate and for more people to be hurt.

    But in the heat of the moment there is no time to think – the training just takes over and you focus all your efforts on bringing the situation under control and preventing further harm and risk to members of the public.

The commendations will be awarded to Cathedral Constable Beverley Martin and Cathedral Constable Adam Rickers by the Cathedral Constables’ Association.

They will be presented by Canon Peter Moger, Acting Dean of York.

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