Hero Edinburgh cops honoured at police bravery awards

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TWO hero Capital cops who saved a stranded and badly injured man’s life have been honoured at the national police bravery awards.

Constables Neil Paterson and Lee Cameron found the teenager in subzero temperatures after he fell 20ft into a Thistle Street basement on a night out.

Constables Neil Paterson and Lee Cameron are handed their bravey awards

Constables Neil Paterson and Lee Cameron are handed their bravey awards

The dogged duo used mobile phone tracking technology and pounded the beat to find the 19-year-old in a race against time last January before he froze to death.

“It was minus four or five. If we hadn’t have found him he probably wouldn’t have survived another night,” said PC Cameron, a city centre officer for five years.

Reported missing at 5am in the morning by frantic loved ones, it would be another ten hours in freezing temperatures before PCs Paterson and Cameron tracked him down.

They found him huddled in a closed off basement with a broken hip, jaw and missing teeth after apparently toppling over a knee-high fence.

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He was next to a ventilation pipe to the heated swimming pool of a gym on Queen Street – a chance circumstance which probably saved his life as he lay motionless in plunging temperatures.

PC Cameron added: “If it hadn’t been for that, hyperthermia could’ve set in. Office premises wouldn’t have opened until Monday morning.

“I joined the police to have a varied career – to achieve what I can and help people where I can. I was in an office job for a few years and had no preconceived idea of what I wanted to do but wanted a change.

“I decided to become a police officer and it’s absolutely the best decision I’ve ever made.”

Other officers honoured at yesterday’s awards included constables Laura Sayer and Kenneth MacKenzie who were stabbed on a call in Greenock in June.

Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said: “The Police Scotland Bravery Awards provide us with an opportunity to pause, reflect and admire outstanding acts of bravery displayed by members of the public, police officers and staff who put the protection of others before their own safety.

“These selfless acts of care, courage and professionalism include many instances where immense courage was shown in helping people at their time of greatest need, actions that were often life changing for all involved.

“I am privileged to lead an organisation that serves the public with officers and staff who go above and beyond the call of duty every day, to ensure the safety and protection of others.”

Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Humza Yousaf, also praised the bravery those who received awards.

“To start each day without knowing the danger that may arise is not an experience faced by many,” he said.

“The police officers commended today are shining examples of officers who have gone far beyond the call of duty when faced with that 
risk.

“We are indebted to everyone who has received awards.”

andy.shipley@edinburghnews.com