A husband and wife serving with South Yorkshire Police have been recognised after leaping to the aid of a domestic violence victim in the street while off duty.
The force’s Police Federation chair Steve Kent and his wife, Chief Inspector Louise Kent, were out walking their dog when they came across a man and a woman arguing in the street. The argument escalated and the woman is reported to have assaulted the man.
Immediately they switched into ‘police’ mode and intervened.
Louise recalled: “We gained control of the situation and waited until officers arrived. But members of the public thought we had been the aggressors and the situation became heated. We had to let the suspect go until on-duty officers arrived and later located her.
“It was a bit harrowing for me.”
This is because 14 years ago, the Kents found themselves in a very similar situation. On that occasion, Steve was assaulted and left with a fractured eye socket. The memories came flooding back.
Steve added: “The public don’t always appreciate we are sort of on duty all the time and act quickly in situations like this.
“My job with the Police Federation is to promote the good work of police officers, but we are often modest as officers and don’t always see the good work. We just see it as work. We’ve got to get involved and help.”
For their actions, the couple received a letter of thanks from the Chief Constable of a neighbouring force area, where the incident occurred.
The letter said to them: “Policing is a demanding and challenging role; no day is ever the same and you never quite know what you are going to be faced with during your shift. You are the first port of call when the communities that we serve need our help.
“The public look to you, as police officers, to step forward and deal with whatever challenge or problem they are faced with and it makes me very proud to know that we do this, day in, day out to keep people safe from harm.
“Once again, thank you for your actions during this incident, especially as they were carried out whilst you were off duty.”
Louise said: “It felt nice to get that recognition. Your natural response is to help. It’s great for the force to get that recognition too.”
Steve added: “You think, ‘what happens if we don’t do something’? What would happen to the victim? We know we did the right thing and we would do it again.”
An investigation into the incident, which occurred last month, is ongoing.
All of us at South Yorkshire Police would like to congratulate Steve and Louise on their recognition.
If you wish to report domestic abuse, you can call police on 101. If you feel unable to make a call, you can report domestic abuse online via a dedicated online portal here.
If your life is in danger, please call 999.
A number of helplines and organisations are also there for you. Visit our website for more details.
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