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North-east officers celebrated for bravery and excellence

Detective Constables James Dainton and Alison Fraser have been awarded for their work with the deaf community.
Detective Constables James Dainton and Alison Fraser have been awarded for their work with the deaf community.

The bravery of north-east police officers who risked their lives to disarm a knife-wielding murderer have been recognised in a national awards ceremony.

The Chief Constable’s Bravery and Excellence Awards were held virtually this week as a result of the pandemic, and were designed to highlight and celebrate the very best of Police Scotland officers and staff across the country.

Chief Constable Iain Livingstone presented 25 Bravery Awards to 31 officers, and 16 to members of the public.

Among those recognised for their service were Constables James Will, Alison Davis and Dayle Crawford, of the north-east police division.

Constables James Will, Alison Davis and Dayle Crawford have received an award for their bravery in disarming a murderer in June 2019. Const. Davis is not pictured. Picture shows; Constables James Will, (left), and Dayle Crawford (right).

On Wednesday, June 26, the three officers were dispatched to a disturbance at house in Cuminestown, after reports a man armed with a baseball bat had broken into the property.

When they arrived, they met a woman who said the intruder had forced entry, armed himself with a knife and stabbed her husband.

Despite the danger the three courageous officers disarmed and arrested the man, Liam Hay, and provided first aid to the stab victim Anthony McGladrigan, who tragically succumbed to his injuries.

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A Police Scotland statement said the trio’s actions were “exemplary, without regard for their own safety, and led to the assailant being rightly convicted of murder”.

And their colleagues in the north-east division, Detective Constables James Dainton and Alison Fraser, received an Excellence Award for their efforts in promoting equality through their work with deaf people.

Det Const Dainton, a former sign language interpreter, made use of his ability to sign by arranging a series of “deaf drop-in sessions” for members of the deaf community to attend and communicate with him about issues in whatever manner they preferred.

He also started collaborative work with the Aberdeen School for the Deaf.

Det Const Fraser developed a training module to improve officer’s understanding of people who are deaf, and provided “invaluable knowledge of how best to engage and communicate with the deaf community, which is so often hard to reach”.

Det Const Dainton, who has been with the police for five years, said: “I’m very grateful.

“I had prior knowledge of the deaf community because of my previous employment, and definitely saw there was an opportunity to work with the community, so I wanted to enhance their inclusion and opportunities, and foster good relations with the police.

“With the drop-in sessions, they could come in and ask for advice or raise concerns, and do that in their first language.

“It’s definitely built trust and confidence in the service we provide and Police Scotland as a whole.

“It’s important we’re accessible to all demographics and they’re able to engage, and providing them with this opportunity gives them a lot of reassurance.”

The Chief Constable said: “The last 12 months have underlined the relentless and challenging nature of policing.

“Officers and staff are playing a crucial role supporting the national response to coronavirus.

“At the same time, they continue to meet the needs of our communities, providing day-to-day policing and responding to a number of demanding and high profile incidents.

“Today is an important opportunity to recognise and celebrate the outstanding policing which occurs all over Scotland, day in, day out, and to commend members of the public for the selfless acts of bravery and courage to help their fellow citizens.

“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all our winners and nominees and thank them for their commitment to public service.”

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