Leeds special constable gave lifesaving treatment to Lower Briggate stabbing victims

Chf Supt Steve Cotter presents Special Constable Usmaan Akhtar with his award.
Chf Supt Steve Cotter presents Special Constable Usmaan Akhtar with his award.

A special constable who came to the aid of two stabbing victims in Leeds city centre has been praised for giving lifesaving first aid under extreme pressure.

Usmaan Akhtar was only on his fourth tour of duty as part of Operation Capital, which aims to keep revellers safe on a Friday and Saturday night, when a fight broke out on Lower Briggate on July 15.

One of the first on the scene, where he found two people had been stabbed, he remained calm and administered first aid until paramedics arrived.

He was among those to be recognised at the Leeds District Police Awards 2018, where a number of awards were also presented to those who had helped save people threatening to take their lives.

Among them was Rachel Lancaster, a University of Leeds security team member, who intervened when she saw a man step into the road with the intention of being hit.

Others were recognised for their investigative work, including PC Daniel Mahoney, Michael Dunn and Nigel Tyler whose work led to the conviction of a man who tried to kill his partner in front of their seven-year-old child.

Members of the Reactive CID were similarly praised for their investigation into the attempted murder of a homeless man outside the Arndale Centre in Headingley in August 2017.

Others were nominated for awards by the Royal Humane Society or judges presiding over cases.

They included Detective Sergeant David Malkin and PC Abigail Fox-Greenwood, whose work resulted in a groundbreaking forced marriage trial in Leeds.

Meanwhile, Det Con Ray Evans was presented with the Outstanding Contribution to Policing Award for his work with vulnerable victims of child sexual exploitation.

Chief Superintendent Steve Cotter, Leeds District Commander, said: “Although I only took up my post here in Leeds a relatively short time ago in July, I’ve already been impressed by a lot of genuinely excellent work from dedicated staff who are clearly committed to keeping people safe.

“It is no secret to anyone that these are some of the most challenging times that policing has faced, both in terms of the reduced resources we have available and the volume and complexity of the demands that are placed upon us.

“The individual officers, staff and volunteers who serve the communities of Leeds each and every day are the most valuable ingredient of policing, and it makes me very proud to be able to recognise those whose efforts have really stood out, along with members of the public and our staff from our partner agencies who also play such an important role.”