Whether arresting knifemen, foiling burglars, preventing suicides or solving murders, Brighton and Hove police were under pressure throughout 2007.

Ben Parsons was at a ceremony to honour the officers whose exceptional work helped keep the city safe.

In July last year Inspector Jane Derrick led the investigation into an incident where a knifeman confronted officers in Hove.

The man leapt on to a patrol car and tried to stab through the roof until another police car shunted the first to knock him off.

He slashed one officer across his body armour before he was eventually overpowered.

On Friday, the four officers involved in the arrest all received commendations for bravery from the Chief Constable of Sussex Police at a ceremony for the Brighton and Hove division at Brighton police station in John Street.

In total 42 officers were presented with awards by Chief Superintendent Paul Pearce and Caroline Mayhew, the High Sheriff of East Sussex.

In March 2007, PC Stewart Cameron arrived at a flat in Chichester Place, Brighton, to help a social worker "section" a 58-year-old man.

When he and a colleague broke through the front door, he was knifed in the chest. Only his stab vest stopped him being more seriously injured. He was given a certificate of merit for bravery by Assistant Chief Constable Robin Merrett and was praised for his "outstanding courage and professionalism".

PC Cameron told The Argus his narrow escape from serious injury or death had stayed with him. He said: "It is every police officer's nightmare. It is often the most routine jobs that can escalate."

When three men robbed Margery Road Stores in Hove in September 2006, officers arrived to find shopkeeper Cezar Zarate had been blasted with a sawn-off shotgun, the robbers had escaped and members of the public were in a state of terror.

But the culprits were brought to justice and last month the last of the three men was put behind bars for a minimum of nine years.

Detective Sergeant Kate Witt picked up a commendation while Detective Constable Steve Smethurst and prosecution caseworker Kelly Nicholls were also honoured for their work on the case.

PC Dean DeMarco single-handedly tackled a man who was threatening members of the public in Hove with a 10in kitchen knife. The man was disarmed and arrested.

Chief Supt Pearce said: "Dean was prepared to go in on his own before assistance arrived to ensure that members of the public were protected. A very brave act."

PC Dave Bennett was headbutted by a suspect after a burglary at Carphone Warehouse in Churchill Square, Brighton. He and PC Jayan Shah were both injured but managed to arrest the man and charge him with burglary, theft and assaulting police officers.

PC Andrew Stephenson won two awards. In September he was called after a man threatened to commit suicide.

PC Stephenson arrived to find the man had tried to hang himself in his loft. He got under his legs and held him up while the man's girlfriend cut him down.

Chief Supt Pearce said: "Without the prompt action of PC Stephenson the outcome would have been different and the man would have successfully taken his own life."

PC Stephenson - along with PC James Carter, PC Reese Hemsley, PC Bradley Lozynski, PC Jenny Dunn and Sergeant Philip Jones - was commended for his role in policing another suicide attempt.

They maintained a cordon around the body of a man who had jumped from a sixth-floor window and landed in front of them. They were praised for carrying out their duty in "the most distressing circumstances".

PC Helen Wilkinson, PC Gemma Ruffells, PC Lindsey Valder-Davis, PC Victoria Land, PC Wendy Machan and control room workers Linda Stevens and Sue Lawrence were congratulated for their handling of a serious assault in East Street, Brighton, on August 11, 2007.

Detective Inspector Mick Jones, Acting Detective Sergeant Helen Campbell, Detective Constable Dom Marini, PC Bradley Lozynski, Detective Constable Simon Dunn and Detective Constable Lee Webbon won praise for bringing a prolific burglar to account.

PC Helen Cook and PC Victoria Jones were commended for the prosecution of a 73-year-old man who waged a parking vendetta on the streets of Hove, damaging the cars of Legal and General workers and causing £14,000 damage.

William Crockford, of Nevill Road, was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay a total of £1,800 to car owners.

Detective Sergeant Mick Richards, PC Alex Witek, Detective Constable Angela Harvey and prosecution caseworker Sam Clunes were congratulated for their successful investigation into the rape of a 46-year-old woman in Southdown Avenue, Brighton. Stephen Osbourne, 24, was jailed for seven years.

Sergeant Donna Gibson, PC Kassia Thacker and PC Justin Ingham won plaudits for their work in reducing homophobic attacks and crimes against foreign students in central Brighton. They carried out 21 arrests and made 514 searches of youths linked to the trouble.

PC Tom Wood and PC Joanna Ramsay were congratulated for saving a man who tried to commit suicide in his bathroom.

Sergeant Deirdre Wells and PC William Durant were praised for their courage in dealing with a man who was threatening to stab himself in the stomach. Chief Supt Pearce said: "They put themselves at risk of serious injury by tackling a man with a large kitchen knife."

Detective Constable Sian White was congratulated for carrying out a large-scale investigation into violence at a post-Pride party at Black Rock - described as a "mammoth task" because many witnesses were visitors to the city and had to be traced afterwards.

Two men were charged with violent dis-order, actual bodily harm, common assault and attempted theft.

Chief Supt Pearce said: "This kind of behaviour will not be tolerated in the city. We will not tolerate homophobic crimes and assaults."

PC Gavin Kemp was praised for his work tracking down people in East Brighton who failed to turn up for court proceedings.

Sergeant Richard Siggs was praised by city coroner Veronica Hamilton-Deeley for his help with her inquest into the death of Trevor Saigeman, found dead at Glenwood Lodge hostel in Grand Parade, Brighton.

Jon Betteridge was praised for his work organising the policing of events such as Pride.


Do you know of someone who deserves nominating for an award? Leave your suggestions below or email news@theargus.co.uk.