Updated: Dec 12, 2022
A taxi industry worker who risked her own life to help someone who was being attacked by a stranger in Maidstone has been recognised for her bravery at the National Police Chief’s Council Police Public Bravery Awards.
The ceremony took place on Monday 28 November in Sheffield and honoured those people from all over the country who put themselves at risk in order to prevent crime and protect vulnerable people.
During the early hours on Saturday 21 August 2021, Teresa Locke was working at a taxi firm in Maidstone, when the offender approached a girl who was waiting for a taxi and grabbed her around the waist. He then grabbed her by the throat and pushed her against some shutters.
Mrs Locke, from Maidstone, heard the victim’s screams and attempted to intervene, but the offender punched her in the face, breaking her glasses. He then dragged the young victim to a car park at the rear of the building where he started to sexually assault her.
At this point, Mrs Locke returned with a security guard. They pulled the assailant off his victim and they escorted her to the taxi office and locked the door.
The offender approached the front of the building and banged aggressively on the window before leaving the scene. He was later arrested and in June 2022 was jailed for three years for the attack.
Mrs Locke was also presented with the Binney Medal, which is awarded to the person whose nomination stands out as exceptional above the others. The Binney Medal is in remembrance of Sir Ralph Binney, a retired naval captain who died while trying to stop an armed robbery.
Mrs Locke was presented with her award by Assistant Chief Constable of Kent Police Andy Pritchard and Martin Hewitt, Chairman of the National Police Chief’s Council.
ACC Pritchard said: “It was an absolute privilege to be present to see Teresa recognised for her extraordinary actions.
“Whilst our officers across the county are trained and prepared to deal with such incidents, members of the public are not and it’s humbling to witness that in the face of adversity Kent residents are prepared to risk their own safety for others.
“She fully deserves her commendation.”