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Bravery award for officers involved in Cuminestown murderer's apprehension

By David Porter

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The outstanding achievements and bravery of Police Scotland officers and staff and members of the public has been recognised and celebrated today including three officers who attended a tragic incident near Cuminestown.

The Chief Constable's Bravery and Excellence Awards was held virtually due to the pandemic, with officers and staff and award winners and their families able to view the ceremony remotely from across the country.

Chief constable Iain Livingstone QPM presented 25 Bravery awards to 31 police officers and 16 members of the public.

Among those receiving an award were constables James Will, Alison Davis and Dayle Crawford.

PC James Will and Dayle Crawford
PC James Will and Dayle Crawford

On Wednesday, June26, 2019 Police Scotland received a report of a man armed with a baseball bat breaking into a house near Cuminestown.

Constables James Will, Alison Davis and Dayle Crawford attended.

On arrival they were met by a woman, who informed them that a man had forced entry, armed himself with a knife and stabbed her husband.

James, Alison and Dayle entered the property, disarmed and apprehended the male and provided immediate first aid to the victim.

Despite their best efforts, the victim Anthony McGladrigan tragically succumbed to his injuries.

James, Alison and Dayle’s initial actions at the scene were exemplary, without regard for their own safety.

Their actionsled to the assailant Liam Hay being rightly convicted of murder and receiving a life sentence.

James Dainton and Alison Fraser
James Dainton and Alison Fraser

North-east division detective constables James Dainton and Alison Fraser were announced as recipients of the Equality Award.

The pair were cited for having made a wholly positive impact in their local community.

James made excellent use of his ability to sign and arranged a series of 'deaf drop-in sessions' where members of the community could attend and communicate with him in the manner they were most comfortable with.

He initiated collaborative work with Aberdeen School for the Deaf, where young people consider him to be an outstanding role model.

Concurrently, Alison developed a training module, which improved officers’ understanding of the deaf community and provided invaluable knowledge of how best to engage and communicate with the deaf community, which is so often hard to reach.

Commenting on the awards Mr Livingstone 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.

“This 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.

“I’m also grateful to Police Mutual for their continued support of this important event.”

Cabinet Secretary for Justice Humza Yousaf said: “The Bravery and Excellence Awards allow us to reflect on selfless acts of courage which have made a real difference to people at their greatest time of need and to recognise the innovative and high quality work by officers and staff from across the Service, the Scottish Police Authority and other partners.

“I want to thank all the officers, staff and members of the public, who were nominated for awards, for their service and support in these challenging times.

“I have always been proud of the dedication shown by our police officers and police staff, to keep us all safe, and the current pandemic has highlighted that the police workforce is highly adaptable in its response to new challenges.”

Martyn Evans, Chair of the Scottish Police Authority, said: "These are truly extraordinary times but Police Scotland’s officers and staff continue to excel in challenging circumstances.

“The award ceremony gives us the opportunity to celebrate just a small number of examples of bravery and courage but we at the Authority acknowledge that examples like these are being carried out across Scotland on a daily basis as officers and staff work alongside partners and members of the public to keep Scotland’s communities safe.”

Sir Jon Murphy QPM DL LLB (Hons), chairman of the Police Mutual Oversight Committee, said: “Each nominee is a credit to their family and friends, their communities, and the police service.

“We are always proud of your outstanding demonstrations of courage and I am delighted to also be able to recognise bravery and excellence in policing through our sponsorship of these awards.”

Other recipients included PC David Murdoch, PC Phoebe Pritchard, PC Michael Shields and PC Allan Wardrop who bravely entered a building on fire on Ayr High Street in May 2020 where their courageous actions led to the rescue of many people and prevented any loss of life.

Mr Livingstone also presented excellence awards to 15 individuals and teams in 11 separate categories including Police Officer of the Year who was named as detective inspector Michael McCullagh of the Cybercrime Investigations Unit for his instrumental work in helping develop the overall understanding of cybercrime in Scotland.

Police Scotland’s voluntary officers were also honoured, with special constable Stuart Anderson and special constable Lee McWhinney jointly named Special Constable of the Year.

SPC Anderson became the first special constable to lead a drugs operation in his home area of Fife, while SPC McWhinney gave more than 1000 hours of voluntary service over 12 months in West Dunbartonshire and has now joined Police Scotland as a probationary officer.

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