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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 February 2006, 19:18 GMT
Record bravery awards for police
Bus bombed in Tavistock Square
Scotland Yard led the emergency services response to the bombs
A record number of Metropolitan police officers have received bravery awards at a commendation ceremony.

In total 156 officers were honoured for their response to the 7 July attacks, and 58 for the Asian tsunami response.

The Commissioner's High Commendation, the force's highest award for supreme courage, was given to 92 officers - in 2005 four such awards were made.

Mayor Ken Livingstone said: "Many Londoners are alive today because you performed at the peak of excellence."

Among police officers being honoured at the Scotland Yard ceremony on Wednesday were Ashley Walker and Graham Cross, who were just 100 yards from the Tavistock Square bus when it exploded.

We had no choice but to keep going and help the people off the bus
Sgt Graham Cross

They climbed on board to pull passengers out of the wreckage.

Mr Cross said: "We thought there was another suicide bomber or another bomb on the bus because there was another package and we did not know what it was or who it belonged to.

"We had no choice but to keep going and help the people off the bus."

The event, at Hendon police training centre in north London, coincided with a ceremony at Buckingham Palace to honour 7 July workers.

'Bravery and dedication'

Mr Livingstone, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair and Home Secretary Charles Clarke praised the officers.

Sir Ian hailed the "bravery and dedication" of the 7 July officers, in what had been a "defining event for the UK".

Four suicide bombers killed 52 people, and themselves, when they struck on the Tube network and on a bus on 7 July 2005.

Also praised were officers who played a major part in the international effort to identify victims of the Asian tsunami, which killed 150 Britons.

Metropolitan Police officers were among the first to arrive in the aftermath of the disaster on Boxing Day 2004 and led the British response.

Foreign Office minister Lord Triesman added: "I cannot think of another police force in the world that could have done more, performed better or stuck to a terribly difficult task longer," he said.




SEE ALSO:
A year after the tsunami
26 Dec 05 |  Wales
Policeman recalls 7 July horror
02 Dec 05 |  London


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