Public pass by as police chief halts suicide leap

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A POLICE officer who saved a man trying to throw himself off a flyover was shocked by the lack of compassion shown by other passers-by.

Chief Inspector David Rawding was able to stop the 26-year-old man with the help of a member of the public, but says at least 20 other vehicles drove past without stopping.

The policeman was driving across the flyover on Hessle Road in Hull when he saw the man, clearly in distress, straddling the railings. By the time he’d stopped, the man, who was drunk, had climbed over on to the wrong side of the railings above a 20m drop onto railway lines.

The officer, who wasn’t in uniform, said: “He was just hanging, looking as though he was going to jump off. I got hold of him and held him on the side of the railings to prevent him dropping. I was struggling with him for quite a long time, probably a minute, and a young lady who’d been at the bottom and seen him and been concerned came up. She was the only person who came to my assistance.”

All police staff locally are being trained in suicide prevention through a course called Safe Talk.

The officer, who is the neighbourhood commander for Hull said: “Nobody stopped even to ask him whether he was all right. Having been involved in raising the awareness of suicide prevention and instigating the training of all Humberside Police operational staff in Safe Talk, it was very distressing to see the public’s lack of care for a fellow human.

“I would always urge the public to intervene if they see someone in distress or trying to harm themselves. The police cannot always be there to stop incidents like this one and we need the public’s help.”