Brave copper dived into River Lea to save suspected drug dealer

A Hackney policeman who dived into the River Lea to save a suspected drug dealer from drowning was nominated for a national award for his bravery.

PC Gareth Bradley-Jones, 34, was chasing a man who jumped into the river last September.

The man - who was wearing a Puffa-style jacket - was struggling to stay afloat because of his heavy clothing.

PC Bradley-Jones dived under the surface several times before pulling the man out onto the bank and pumping water out of his lungs.

During police interviews afterwards, the man said: “That officer is a hero, he saved my life. My son still has a father.”

PC Bradley-Jones added: “I dived under several times until I found him and dragged him to the surface.

“I’m glad I was able to save him. I’m really proud to be nominated for this bravery award, it’s a very good feeling.”

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In total, 53 officers from across England and Wales who risked their lives were nominated for the Police Federation Bravery Awards.

The overall winners were a team of police officers from Westminster who tackled an armed gang.