Havering police save suicidal lad from bridge leap

Hero Havering Police officers saved a teenager threatening to commit suicide from a bridge in Gidea Park.

The 17-year-old was perched precariosuly on the wrong side of railings of the 20ft pedestrian footbridge over the busy Southend Arterial Road at Ardleigh Green Road, for around 30 mintues.

It is believed four members of the public, including three teenagers, helped calm the boy as they waited for police help.

The boy told by-standers he wanted to die, and threatened to throw himself in front of passing traffic just before 4pm on Monday.

But Pc Ian Rogers and Inspector John Goodwin “engaged in 20 minutes of careful dialogue” with the troubled teen, finally convincing him to return to safety.

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Pc Rogers, 24, said: “We just kept him talking. At first he didn’t say anything, then he began opening up. I told him the only way things could get better was for him to get help.

“It was really nerve-wracking; the road is really busy. I’ve been to cases of self-harm before but nothing like this.

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“We all had an enormous sense of relief when he steppped back over the railings again.”

He added: “In this job you see so many awful things, so it’s nice when there’s a happy outcome.”

A lone Pc Neil Strachan stopped three lanes of traffic during negotiations with the boy, which were reopened again at 4.30pm.

Crews from the London Ambulance Sevice (LAS) were on stand-by at the scene.

The teen was taken for a mental health assessment in a speclialist unit in King George Hospital, in Goodmayes.

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