WPc breaks wrist in clifftop drama

A POLICE woman ended up with a broken wrist as she tried to stop a man from jumping off Beachy Head on Tuesday afternoon (May 10).

The 26-year-old and a male colleague were called to the clifftop on Tuesday afternoon and were lowered down by harness onto a ledge where a 44-year-old man was in a distressed state and threatening to jump.

The officers spent an hour and a half talking to the man and eventually all three were winched up the cliff face to safety by Eastbourne’s coastguards.

But on the clifftop the man struggled and the WPC, who is part of the Eastbourne Response Team, suffered concussion and a broken wrist.

Eastbourne coastguard Stuart McNab said, “We were called at 4pm to support the police who were dealing with the man on the cliff edge.

“We rigged lines and put two police officers in harnesses so they could safely approach the man, one was the WPC who took the lead in the negotiation.

“After about an hour and a half negotiation the WPC managed to encourage the man to put on our rescue strop which supported and secured him as he started to come away from the edge.

When he was about 15 feet away from the edge, for some reason he started to resist and had to be restrained by the WPC who was quickly helped by other officers.

“The WPC performed admirably during this incident and the co-operation between the police and coastguard ensured this incident was safely concluded, with the exception of the injury sustained by the WPC during the scuffle.”

A spokesperson at Sussex Police said the WPC was treated at the DGH but later allowed home and plans to return on light duties at the end of the week.

The man, who is from Eastbourne, was initially detained under the Mental Health Act and later admitted to a specialist hospital as a voluntary patient.

Police inspector Claire Stephenson said, “This was really good work by the officer and her colleagues, working with HM Coastguard and the chaplains to help ensure a safe outcome to this incident for all involved.”