Two Met police officers recently experienced two extremes of the job. They went from helping to bring a new life into the world, to getting assaulted by an angry mob of thugs.
On Friday, 3rd July, PC Siobhan Singh and PC Isabella Taborro, from the Central West Command Unit, were attached with colleagues to a police serial, working alongside the Violent Crime Taskforce to patrol areas in London that have been ruined with violence and anti-social behaviour.
Soon after they started their patrol, they noticed a vehicle that was being driven erratically on Grafton Way, WC1.
The vehicle sped past the officers, and they immediately activated their blues light and indicated for the car to stop.
By the time the officers caught up with the vehicle, it had come to a stop outside University College Hospital.
As the officers approached the vehicle, they soon discovered why it had sped to the hospital; the driver’s wife was in labour and about to give birth.
PCs Singh and Taborro stayed with the mother, as other officers went to alert hospital staff.
But the baby girl had other ideas, and she decided that now was the time to make her appearance into the world. So the two officers helped the mother as she delivered her baby daughter in the front seat of the car.
The family were cared for by hospital staff, with mother and baby Clara said to be doing well.
The officers then returned to their patrol, and it was not long before they were tasked to deal with an unlicensed music event that was being held in Hammersmith and Fulham.
When officers arrived, they tried to speak with the crowd to encourage them to leave the area peacefully.
But the crowd ignored the officers and started to become hostile towards them.
Heavily outnumbered, the police had no choice other than to make a tactical withdrawal from the area, which allowed them to regroup.
Officers once again tried to disperse the hostile crowd, but they were met with further indiscriminate violence as bottles, and other objects came hurtling towards them.
PC Singh was struck by a projectile, sustaining a shoulder injury.
She was taken to a nearby police station for medical attention from the London Ambulance Service before being taken to hospital with a suspected fractured collar bone.
She was found to have suffered muscle damage.
PC Taborro was also injured by one of the objects, suffering injuries to her ankle.
Chief Superintendent Helen Harper, Borough commander for Central West, said:
“This one shift so clearly emphasises how a police officer’s day can quickly move from the joy of helping to bring a new life into this world, to being targeted by an angry crowd.
“I have nothing but praise for all of my officers who come into work not knowing what they will face.
“Their ability to provide comfort and reassurance to a woman giving birth in a car highlights their humanity, and the sometimes unseen side of policing.
“To then be called to an event that has got out of hand, and is causing disruption to a local community, and be ready to face violence, is just as impressive.
“A total of eleven officers, based across the Met, were injured over the course of that Friday night, and I wish them all a swift recovery. PCs Singh and Taborro are recuperating from their injuries but will soon be ready to face all that policing in London has to offer.”
Clara’s mother, Debra, said:
“My labour went really quickly and about a mile away from the hospital I felt like the baby was coming.
“We happened to drive past the police van, and they pursued us as we were probably going a bit faster than allowed!
“We pulled up outside the hospital just as my daughter, Clara, was being born! Siobhan and Isabelle came round to the passenger side and immediately helped me and assisted delivering the baby.
“They were both calm and collected and also very cheerful! I felt very reassured having them there. I cannot thank them enough for bringing our daughter Clara safely into the world!”
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Image credit: Met Police
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