Tributes to PC killed in crash

An officer from Ripon Fire Station lays flowers at the scene.
An officer from Ripon Fire Station lays flowers at the scene.

Colleagues of a police officer who died in the line of duty near Ripon have spoken of their “overwhelming sadness” as tributes flooded in from forces across the country.

PC Andrew Bramma, 32, of North Yorkshire Police, was responding to a 999 call reporting another crash when his patrol van hit a tree in the village of West Tanfield at about 7pm on Saturday.

PC Bramma was the only occupant of the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene. He leaves a wife and two young sons.

The constable, who was originally from Yorkshire, had served as a beat officer with Greater Manchester Police since 2008 and transferred back to his home county only four months ago.

Speaking yesterday at Harrogate Police Station, where PC Bramma was based, temporary Chief Constable Tim Madgwick said: “This is terrible and tragic news and the thoughts of everyone at North Yorkshire Police are with the officer’s family at this sad and very difficult time.

“I just sense he was someone who wanted to be here and wanted to be part of our team.

“He extolled the virtues of what we are looking for in North Yorkshire Police – he cared about the community, he wanted to do his job and protect people and he did it for the very best reasons.

“He was a man of integrity and he was popular with his colleagues and as chief constable I cannot ask for more of a young officer.”

He added: “The overwhelming sense of sadness which had been felt by Andrew’s colleagues is shared by the entire force as we mourn the loss of one of our officers.”

Mr Madgwick said messages of condolence had been sent from other forces across the country.

All flags at the force’s police stations are being flown at half-mast as a mark of respect and an online book of condolence has been opened on the force website.

Members of the other emergency services gathered to pay their respects at the scene yesterday.

Firefighters solemnly bowed their heads at the scene as flowers were laid.

Mike Stubbs, of North Yorkshire Police Federation, said: “Today we are mourning a member of our police family, who was killed making his way to an incident to help a member of the public.

“Andrew had quickly established himself as a well-liked and respected officer amongst his colleagues in North Yorkshire who are distraught at his death.

“Most tragically, he leaves behind a young family who are devastated by last night’s events. We are working very closely with the chief officer team to support them.”

North Yorkshire Police Commissioner Julia Mulligan said: “This is the worst news a family can receive and my thoughts are with them all at this dreadful time.”

The Health and Safety Executive has been informed and an investigation will be carried out into the cause of the crash.

Former colleagues from Manchester also paid their respects to the constable who spent nearly four years with Greater Manchester Police

Pc Bramma joined in October 2008 and worked as a response officer in the Rochdale division.

Speaking about the tragedy, Ripon MP Julian Smith said: “The death of a North Yorkshire Police officer while responding to an emergency call is tragic news. My thoughts are with his family and colleagues at this difficult time.”