Special Constables bravery award for New Deer incident

editorial image

Two Special Constables have been commended for the “supreme courage” after risking their lives to catch a New Deer armed robber.

John Carle and Naria Elrick reprimanded Alan Helmsley, 18, after he attempted to rob two Village shops armed with a knife and wooden baton.

Helmsley demanded money and attempted to steal staff members’ cars at the Village’s Key Store and a Costcutter before fleeing on November 14 last year.

Carle and Elrick, both 46, were volunteering at a Rememberance Parade nearby when they spotted Helmsley.

They persued him for some time, eventually catching up with him at the Brucklay Arms Pub where Helmsley attacked Carle with the batton and threatened to stab him.

Carle, who works full time for the Scottish SPCA said: “Some of the locals had managed to get him cornered. We went in and warned him to drop his weapons. I knew he wasn’t going to do it so I drew my CS gas and me and my colleague both sprayed him.”

They managed to put Helmsley into handcuffs and detain him until Police assistance arrived.

The pair were honoured at an awards ceremony held by Grampian Police at Aberdeen’s Beach Ballroom on May 17.

Grampian Police Chief Constable Colin McKerracher said: “The professionalism and dedication shown by Naria and John during this incident is a credit to both themselves and to Grampian Police.”

He added: “It shouldn’t be forgotten that Special Constables voluntarily give up their own free time to serve their local communities which makes the level of bravery shown during this incident all the more remarkable.”