A POLICE constable who tried to save an elderly woman from a burning building has been praised after being nominated for the Police Bravery Awards 2021.

North Wales PC Joshua (Josh) Stocker responded to reports of a house fire in Abergele back in 2020.

Arriving on the scene before the fire service, PC Stocker was aware that members of the public had been prevented from entering the building due to the ferocious heat and smoke billowing from the property.

A spokesperson for the North Wales Police Federation said: "With no thoughts for his own safety, PC Stocker entered the burning building on his hands and knees. With much difficulty, he managed to pull the female occupant outside on his own. As a result of his heroic act, PC Stocker suffered minor burns and the effects of smoke inhalation."

Despite the best efforts of PC Stocker and the emergency services, the elderly woman died.

An investigation carried out by North Wales Fire and Rescue Service concluded at the time that it was likely the fire was caused accidentally by a discarded cigarette butt.

PC Stocker attended the awards on Thursday, December 9. He did not win, but North Wales Police Federation and Chief Constable of North Wales Police, Carl Foulkes, offered their congratulations to PC Stocker.

Mr Foulkes said: "To be selected from so many exceptional nominations across North Wales is a real honour, and one which Josh should rightly be proud.

"I'm immensely proud of Josh and indeed all of my officers, who show their commitment and dedication to keeping the public safe every day.

"Being a police officer is both a challenging and rewarding vocation which doesn’t stop at the end of a shift, and Josh has rightly received recognition for his heroic efforts on that tragic day."

The 26th Annual Police Bravery Awards were sponsored by Police Mutual and presented by TV presenter Mark Durden Smith.

The event honours police officers across England and Wales, highlighting their acts of selflessness and valour and celebrating their achievements.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised the ‘dedication and conscientiousness’ of the nominees.

He said: “It is this unflinching bravery, alongside your dedication and conscientiousness, that inspires my steadfast support for the police.

“I am bowled over by the nominees. You are a credit to your forces and your illustrious forebears in policing. I salute each and every one of you.”

North Wales Police Federation posted on Facebook about the ceremony: "A truly fantastic evening at the Police Federation of England and Wales Police Bravery Awards.

"Huge congratulations to all the winners and nominees but especially to our very own PC Josh Stocker who is one the most nicest and humblest guys you could ever wish to meet."

See the regional award winners here.