A HEROIC detention officer has been hailed for protecting a colleague from a violent prisoner who flew into a rage.

Karen Chinery was working at Colchester Police Station when a man being brought into custody suddenly punched one of the police officers escorting him to the head.

He fell to the floor having been knocked out and Ms Chinery instinctively dived on top of him as the suspect kicked out.

The man was eventually detained by other officers.

Ms Chinery is among a dozen police officers and police staff to be commended by Essex Police Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington in his latest round of accolades.

She has been hailed for her for her bravery, professionalism and decisive action during the incident in September last year.

“I was very chuffed to receive a commendation," she said.

"As a biker myself, I know that two or more knocks to the head can cause damage so I knew the best thing to do was to protect the officer’s head.

"And I would do it again in the same situation.”

Mr Harrington said: "Our officers and staff will say ‘I was just doing my job’ or ‘that’s what I get paid for’ but the things I have commended them for are absolutely extraordinary. I don’t award commendations lightly.

“I ask our officers to help people, keep them safe and catch bad guys and they do, day in and day out. But it’s not just about our officers, it takes a team of people with different skills and abilities to bring people to justice and that means police staff, detention officers, analysts and investigators.

“Whether it’s chasing people with knives, protecting colleagues, helping members of the public, tracking down criminals who have threatened people in their own homes or making sure hundreds of people are now safer online, there has been some tremendous work to bring people to justice.”