A former Southend police officer has recalled how a drug gang tied a noose around his neck and threw him off a balcony as he shines a light on the trauma faced by cops every day.
Bob Craven, 75, started his career as a frontline officer in Southend before working in Basildon, Chelmsford and Canvey in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
He spoke about his experiences in hopes of highlighting the traumatic situations police face as he launches a fundraising campaign for mental health, asthma and heart disease charities.
In 1983, during a secret drug investigation, he was beaten by a drug gang and thrown onto a balcony from a fifth floor with a rope tied around his neck.
He suffered a broken leg and a collapsed lung, but the long-term impact on his mental health was far worse than his injuries.
Mr Craven said: ‘The mental health impacts are a delayed reaction to these incidents and for a while I didn’t know why I had fainting spells, sickness and diarrhoea.
“I still have flashbacks and things trigger horrible memories. It’s terrible at times, but I’m getting better at dealing with it. I also have severe heart disease and asthma from the stress of the incidents. J I have flashbacks at night when I sleep about three times a week and it can be horrible sometimes.
He was later promoted to the National Crime Intelligence Service and worked with the force’s Major Incidents Team.
He suffered serious injuries in 1979 in Enfield High Street when he was carried on the bonnet of a getaway car for over a mile and shot at.
He added: “I have ways of coping and dealing with these incidents, like writing down my thoughts and feelings and also remembering good times and good memories.
“I want to raise money for charities that have helped me tremendously, like Mind and Asthma UK.”
Despite struggling to walk due to his heart condition, he is set to walk Southend Pier 30 times between February and May.
He is also planning other walking events and exhibits about his life and journey.
To donate to its pages see www.
justgiving.com/page/bobcelebrating30years or www.justgiving.com/page/bob-craven-1659522441536