A POLICE officer whose actions to save a man's life were "nothing short of heroic" has been recognised during a special ceremony.

Firearms officer PC Martin Parker was presented a Chief Constable Congratulations award by Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney.

Time was of the essence when PC Parker and his team were called to a man who had hung himself from a tree in Stockbridge last April.

With a ladder placed against the tree, PC Parker quickly climbed to the top and took the man’s weight, which was around 17 stone.

But, without warning, the ladder suddenly collapsed below them.

PC Parker not only managed to grab onto the tree, preventing himself from falling, he was also still able to support the man 30ft above the ground, knowing that any sudden movement would end in tragedy.

Fortunately his team were able to get the ladder back up and safely cut the man down.

A citation added: "The strength, courage and selflessness of PC Parker caring for the man and saving his life was beyond incredible.

"Congratulations to PC Martin Parker."

The Chief Constable’s Awards, held in Netley, recognises officers and members of the public for their remarkable acts of bravery and self-sacrifice that have saved lives and protected the vulnerable.

Chief constable Pinkney said: “It is with immense pride that I present these awards to our officers who have truly shown great courage and professionalism when faced with some truly terrible crimes.

“Every day our officers are working hard to make our communities safer and these examples show the lengths they are willing to go to in order to protect those they have promised to serve, often putting themselves in harm’s way without a second thought.

“From incredible displays of strength, to personal sacrifices to get the job done and running into danger when others are going in the opposite direction, it is clear these officers have gone above and beyond.

“Officers should not have to face the threat of violence when trying to do their job, but sadly this is not always the reality.

“Once again we have seen how our officers have refused to give up when confronted with such unacceptable aggression.

“It is important for me to celebrate these achievements and show people across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight the exceptional work our officers are doing day in and day out to fight crime and protect the vulnerable.”

John Apter, chairman of Hampshire Police Federation, added: “Police officers never know what they will have to deal with when they come on duty and it appears from this award ceremony that acts of extreme bravery are all in a day’s work for those I am proud to represent.

“There is no greater achievement than saving the life of another person, those who have received awards not only saved lives but risked their own in doing so.

“Police officers don’t do what they do for thanks and recognition but when we see such acts of incredible bravery they deserve all the praise they get.”