A police officer who helped stop a mentally ill man from jumping off the top of St George's Hospital has been commended.

Last week at the Assistant Commissioner’s Commendation ceremony PC Phil Caraher was recognised for the courage and compassion he showed in saving the vulnerable person’s life.

In August 2018 police were called to a mentally ill patient who had climbed onto the roof of the Tooting hospital and was threatening to jump in an effort to end their life.

PC Caraher arrived first and spent close to an hour developing a rapport with the patient whilst managing a crowd of distressed patients and staff as colleagues worked to secure the scene.

The London Ambulance Service and London Fire Brigade rallied to arrange their equipment to safely access the patient at height.

The presence of additional staff proved to increase the patient’s stress so PC Caraher elected to continue the work alone, isolated from colleagues.

After an hour, the patient removed a piece of clothing and used it as a ligature. PC Caraher informed supervisors, however equipment was not yet in place to rescue the patient safely.

A short time later, the patient lost consciousness. With little consideration for his own wellbeing PC Caraher climbed from the ground level to the roof top, pulled the patient away from the edge and cut the ligature away.

He was joined on the roof by a colleague and paramedic who later confirmed that the patient had suffered no serious or lasting physical injury and this was mainly due to PC Caraher taking brave and decisive action to climb on to the roof, cut the ligature and save the vulnerable person’s life.

Chief Superintendent Sally Benatar from the South West BCU said: “PC Caraher made some courageous decisions that day and selflessly put his safety at risk in order to save the life of another. I’m proud of PC Caraher as he displayed both bravery and compassion. His commendation is well-deserved.”