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PC James Arnold gets award for saving man's life

By Chloe Holmwood

PC James Arnold responded to a domestic incident involving a young man and his girlfriend at a house in Maidstone after a 999 call at about 12.30pm on July 19.

PC Arnold, who grew up on Sheppey and went to Minster College, said: “The informant said the young man had cut himself with a razor blade.

From left, deputy mayor of Maidstone Cllr David Naghi, PC James Arnold, police and crime commissioner Matthew Scott, and Chief Superintendent Julia Chapman

From left, deputy mayor of Maidstone Cllr David Naghi, PC James Arnold, police and crime commissioner Matthew Scott, and Chief Superintendent Julia Chapman

"He had in excess of 50 deep wounds. He’d tried to take his own life.”

PC Arnold, 31, and his colleagues tried to find the man who had been seen running off towards Sittingbourne Road.

PC Arnold then spotted him sitting on the edge of a wall, above railway tracks.

He said: “It must have been a 40ft drop below him and he was looking down.

“His arms were red and both of them were completely covered in blood.”

PC Arnold, who now lives in Ashford, said he and his colleagues shut the road, where members of the public had started to gather.

From left, deputy mayor of Maidstone Cllr David Naghi, PC James Arnold, police and crime commissioner Matthew Scott, and Chief Superintendent Julia Chapman

From left, deputy mayor of Maidstone Cllr David Naghi, PC James Arnold, police and crime commissioner Matthew Scott, and Chief Superintendent Julia Chapman

“I walked towards him and started to chat with him to see how he was doing and to try and calm him down,” he said.

“He said his girlfriend had cheated on him. He was in an emotional state. He wanted to jump in front of a train.

“Then, at one point, a member of the public must have shouted, or something distracted him, and he looked to the right.”

PC Arnold, who is also a police medic, took the opportunity to lunge at the man and pull him away from the drop.

Despite the fact the man was holding a razor blade, PC Arnold held onto him until back-up arrived. He then starting treating the man’s wounds until an ambulance arrived.

"It was a stroke of luck that he looked to the right, because if he caught me coming towards him in the corner of his eye, he would have jumped" - PC James Arnold

“It was a stroke of luck that he looked to the right, because if he was looking down and caught me coming towards him in the corner of his eye, he would have jumped,” he said.

“It’s just instinctive. I was just trying to save his life. I’m glad he’s OK.

“For me, it’s just another day. This is the work we do every day and everyone works hard to protect lives.”

PC Arnold, who has been part of Maidstone’s policing team for eight years, was presented with a Certificate of Merit at a ceremony at the Kent Police College.

It’s not the first time he has intervened when people are at risk of falling.

In February last year, he pulled two teenagers to safety after he saw an “agitated and violent” 17-year-old boy pulling a younger teenage girl by her hair on the edge of The Mall multi-storey car park in Maidstone.

For that, PC Arnold was given a Chief Constable’s Award.

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