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PC Ian Dibell commended for 'brave, courageous and selfless' sacrifice

PC Dibell receives the highest award a police chief can give

A police officer shot while off duty as he tried to protect a member of the public has been posthumously awarded a chief constable's commendation.

PC Ian Dibell, 41, was shot dead after intervening in a dispute near his home in Clacton in July last year.

Gunman Peter Reeve's body was found the following morning in the grounds of All Saints' Church, Writtle.

Essex Police Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle has awarded PC Dibell the highest award available to a police chief.

He said: "At the time of the incident, there were several members of the public present who might have been wounded or killed if Ian had not intervened as he did.

"Ian's brave, courageous and selfless actions no doubt saved others from harm.

"He consciously stepped into danger to protect others and tragically paid the ultimate price. His fearless actions were in the best traditions of policing.

"The sacrifice he made for the safety of others will never be forgotten."

An inquest last month returned verdicts of unlawful killing for PC Dibell and suicide for Peter Reeve.

Several other options for honouring PC Dibell are being considered.