Officers praised for saving life of suicidal teen girl on Hampstead Heath

The teenager was found collapsed near one of the ponds on Hampstead Heath. Picture: Polly Hancock

The teenager was found collapsed near one of the ponds on Hampstead Heath. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

A pair of Camden police officers have been praised as “life-savers” after a desperate midnight hunt for a teenage girl who had taken an overdose of pills on Hampstead Heath.

Police in Kent received a call from the boyfriend of a 19-year-old woman from Dartford who phoned him to say she “couldn’t take it anymore” and had taken an overdose of pills.

Saying she had travelled all the way to Hampstead Heath to take her own life, Kent police repeatedly tried to ring her phone but were unable to get through.

With little more information, Camden officers Pc Green and Pc Harrington rushed to the Heath just after midnight on Friday, facing a race against time to find the young woman in the pitch black.

After scouring the vast open space of the park, a police helicopter spotted a motionless body near the Hampstead Heath ponds, and directed Pc Green and Pc Harrington to her.

Pc Green said: “I was around 10ft from her being guided in by ASU [Air Support Unit], and I still couldn’t see her.

“[We then] found her, eyes shut, on the front, barely conscious. I tried to rouse her, and she opened her eyes. She was unable to walk and was very sleepy, unable to keep her eyes open.”

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After calling for medical assistance, the London Ambulance Service (LAS) stated they would take over an hour to get there.

Pc Green continued: “I found lots of empty packets of tablets lying nearby, and I gathered these up to assist medical staff when we got to the hospital.

“Due to LAS being over an hour, I deemed it a life or death situation, and we carried [name of woman removed] to my van, and ran her straight to the Royal Free Hospital.”

Staff at the hospital in Hampstead said the woman was very lucky to have been found, as the amount of tablets taken “could easily have been fatal”.

They said they were confident officers had acted in time for them to be able to give the appropriate drugs to reverse the effects of the tablets.

A spokesman from Kent Police said: “A 19-year-old woman who was reported missing from Dartford on 1 July has been found in London and taken to hospital.”