Award for Kirkcaldy teen who stopped a bag thief

The First Minister with award winner Joe Lafferty. 'Picture by Kenny Smith.
The First Minister with award winner Joe Lafferty. 'Picture by Kenny Smith.

A Kirkcaldy teenager has been honoured for his bravery at a special awards ceremomy held in Edinburgh.

Joe Lafferty was among the members of the public nominated for an accolade by Police Scotland.

The First Minister recognised the outstanding bravery demonstrated by staff within the emergency services, voluntary sector rescue organisations and members of the public at the annual Brave@Heart awards.

In total there were 60 nominations received from emergency services and the independent validation panel chose 45 of them to receive Brave@Heart awards. 36 accolades were given to professionals and nine to members of the public.

Joe was attending Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy for dental treatment earlier this year when he witnessed an opportunist thief snatch a handbag from a lady who had recently used the cash dispenser. As the thief ran from the scene another witness called out for the man to stop.

On hearing this and without regard for his own safety, Joe gave chase, catching him and recovering the bag. The man responsible was arrested by police and pleaded guilty to this crime.

He was subsequently sentenced to six months imprisonment. Joe has since been praised for his actions which have been described as admirable.

Police Scotland said it is worthy of note the Joe was aged 14 at the time of the incident and displayed remarkable courage and bravery.

A number of Fife police officers were also commended for their actions in the line of duty at the awards including PCs Norman Hill, Craig Donaldson and Keith Leinster from north east Fife.

The First Minister said: “The awards are an opportunity for Scotland to say thank you to the Brave@Heart recipients.

“We are privileged to have such dedicated emergency professionals and members of the public, willing to assist even when their own lives are in danger. Their selflessness and courage is inspiring.”