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Preston police officers who helped reassure Manchester attack girl recognised

Posted on - 14th June, 2017 - 8:18pm | Author - | Posted in - News, People
Poppy at the One Love concert - with at the time - two mystery police officers
Poppy at the One Love concert – with at the time – two mystery police officers

Two Preston police officers who reassured a young Ariana Grande fan during the One Love Concert in Manchester have been to meet her.

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Poppy Sutcliffe, from Teesside, had attended the Manchester Arena concert and was not hurt in the blast.

The 10-year-old went with her mother Sarah to the One Love concert on Sunday 4 June.

As Poppy was entering the benefit concert at Old Trafford she became very scared and upset.

Sergeant Luke Newman and PC Nick Cross stepped in to help reassure Poppy.

Sergeant Newman said: “We saw a little girl, Poppy, and her mum, Sarah, understandably very scared and upset as they were going in. Poor Poppy was crying and sought comfort from Nick, who ended up hugging her because she was so upset.

“We reassured them that we were there to look after them and that they would be safe. We encouraged them to go in and enjoy themselves which I am delighted to say is exactly what they did.”

Read more: Worden Park vigil held for Manchester attack victims

Sarah did not know their names and posted an appeal on Facebook to try and track down the two police officer’s who helped comfort her daughter.

A Durham PCSO stepped in and helped track down the two Lancashire Police officers.

They were invited up to Teesside by the Chief Constable of Durham Police Mike Barton.

Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary Mike Barton, Sarah Sutcliffe, PC Nick Cross, Poppy Sutcliffe (front), PCSO Lisa Hall and Sgt Luke Newman
Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary Mike Barton, Sarah Sutcliffe, PC Nick Cross, Poppy Sutcliffe (front), PCSO Lisa Hall and Sgt Luke Newman

On Monday (12 June) the two officers arrived at Middlesbrough College where Sarah works.

She said: “Monday started off as a very ordinary day but became an outstanding day as I was asked to go and meet some visitors.

“The sight of Luke and Nick with my friend Lisa walking into my staff room knocked me for six and started the tears flowing!

“I was overjoyed to see two people that on the 4th of June became my inspiration, my reason to feel strong and protected and the catalyst to believe me and my little girl could confidently attend the benefit concert.

“They had time to talk to us, reassure us and even be there for a cuddle. After the concert that night we were so proud that we did it but disappointed we hadn’t said goodbye or thank you to the two police officers. Now we’ve had the opportunity to thank Luke and Nick for that night, talk about what had happened, gain a little closure and are actually really proud to have acquired two new friends!”

Read more: Pink ribbons line a Preston church in memory of terror attack victims

The officers had lunch with Poppy and Sarah – as well as meeting local officers.

Sergeant Newman said: “It was quite emotional meeting for Sarah, Poppy and ourselves, particularly after we heard there had been a social media search to find us.

“On that Sunday evening, we were just there doing our jobs in reassuring members of the public but it was so rewarding to see what a positive impact we had on Lisa and young Poppy who could have been so traumatised by their previous experience that they daren’t go to the concert. I am so happy and proud that they chose to overcome those feelings and go in and enjoy themselves.”

PC Nick Cross added: “It was an absolute pleasure getting to meet both Poppy and Sarah again and to see the joy on their faces during this special day arranged just for them.

“Helping them out on the night and seeing how grateful they both were has made both me and Luke extremely proud of the job we do.”

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