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Police officer praised after teenager coaxed from Chorley quarry
3:51pm Tuesday 18th January 2011 in Whittle-le-Woods
A police officer has been praised for his “exceptional courage” after aiding a teenager who was threatening to jump into a Chorley quarry.
Police were called, Whittle Hill Quarry, Hill Top Lane, Whittle-le-Woods at around 7pm on Saturday after reports that a 16-year-old boy was in danger.
A multi-agency response was called with police, fire and rescue and ambulance officers all attending.
One of the first on the scene was PC Paul Harrison, who paid a central part in the rescue.
Sgt Kevin Mountain, of Chorley’s neighbourhood policing team, said that the boy had clambered over the ridge of the quarry and was a few feet down, supported by branches.
He added: “He was in a very precarious position and obviously in imminent danger.
“The situation in these dangerous surroundings was made worse because it was dark.
“PC Harrison attempted to talk to the boy, who at first didn’t engage him. However he soon struck up a rapport with the lad and they began to talk.
“Our officer actually leaned over the edge supported by a harness provided by the fire service so he could see the boy.
“After more than an hour he was persuaded to climb back up.”
Two trained police negotiators were sent to the scene but took a secondary role as PC Harrison coaxed the boy to safety.
Whittle Hill Quarry is a partially flooded ex-sandstone quarry. The cliffs surrounding it have a depth of around 40 metres in places.The teenager, who lives locally, was examined at Chorley Hospital and later released into the custody of his parents.
Sgt Mountain, paid tribute to the officer’s actions.
“I’ve no doubt that this was a life-threatening situation,” he said.
“PC Harrison was decisive and brave which led to a good outcome. He acted in the highest traditions of Lancashire Constabulary.”