Brave police officers and heroic residents who fearlessly tackled criminals were honoured at an awards ceremony.
Good samaritans who rushed to the aid of others were also recognised as 64 people collected accolades at the Police and Public Bravery Awards, held at the Tally Ho training centre in Edgbaston, Birmingham.
Three West Midlands Police officers who rescued a family from violent robbers armed with sledgehammers received Chief Constable’s Commendations – the highest award available to officers in the region.
Walsall Pcs Darren Bond, Pete Emery and Robert Cresswell pinned the men to the ground after they had burst into the home of a family of four in an attempt to steal jewellery and other valuables.
The officers found one of the homeowners tied up in the hallway while another was in the driveway with her two children.
Mr Bond said: “They turned on us with the sledgehammers but we managed to deploy CS spray through a damaged door, which distracted them and gave us an opportunity to get at them.
“Together we pinned them to the ground but, as there were three of us, we only had three sets of handcuffs for four offenders. It was a battle to keep them restrained but back-up arrived within a few minutes so they were quickly in a police cell.
“It was a real adrenaline rush and all over within a short space of time. I was just pleased we managed to help the family and take down the burglars before they could seriously injure anyone or steal any of the family’s belongings.”
Brothers Patrick, 45, and Craig Drummond, 42, admitted robbery and were jailed for five years and four months last month at Wolverhampton Crown Court.
Jason Darrall, 34, of no fixed address, was imprisoned for eight years after being found guilty of robbery and Gavin Elleston, 32, from Erdington, was jailed for four years for robbery.
A shop worker and customer who protected a pensioner from thieves also re-ceived accolades during the ceremony.
Jessica Browne, 34, and Christine Edge, 50, blocked the exit of a Walsall card shop after two Romanian nationals attempted to steal from an 80-year-old woman.
Rozalia Lingurar, 43, and Dinu Lingurar, 45, had entered the UK just three days earlier when they delved into the woman’s bag.
Deputy manager Mrs Edge said: “I put myself between them and the exit whilst a staff member went outside to alert a police patrol officer.
“I was determined they wouldn’t get away because they had tried stealing from an 80-year-old lady which is despicable and I wanted to see them punished.”
Also receiving an award during Wednesday’s ceremony was Pc William Jones, 36, and his brother Gareth, 33. The pair were driving along Pendeford Avenue in Wolverhampton on December 3 last year when they spotted a man on a bike snatch a woman’s handbag.
They pursued the man, who was also wanted for a string of thefts from city homes, before catching up with him in Whitmore Reans. Pc Jones used his training to restrain the thief while giving instructions to his brother who was able to help.
Insp Chris Fox, Pc Jones’ boss, said: “I am pleased that thanks to Pc Jones’ actions, with the support of his brother Gareth, a wanted criminal has been brought to justice and the stolen bag was returned.”
A Rowley Regis woman who opened up her home to strangers after a car crash was honoured with a Good Citizens Award.
Officers were called to the scene of a large blaze after a collision between three vehicles on Thorne Road at around 4.30pm on February 2.
They found a 31-year-old mother and her three children, aged nine, six and one, at the roadside frightened and upset by their ordeal when Mary Woolvin, 61, invited them into her home.
Pc Adam Beckett, from West Bromwich police station who nominated her for the award, said: “While many people were stood around watching the emergency services, Mrs Woolvin was the only person to step out of the crowd and offer to help.”
Mrs Woolvin allowed paramedics into her house to examine the family and offered cups of tea to officers and firemen.
Also rewarded at the ceremony was Dc Matt Dyer who identified the prime suspect behind a series of doorstep cons in Harborne and Sgt Nicola Monk who dragged a suicidal man from the tracks of Wilnecote train station in Tamworth.