A Braintree police detective has been praised for saving a woman’s life when he was on his way home from a late shift.

Dave Smith was driving home when he spotted a dark figure kneeling on the floor of a bridge in Chelmsford.

He turned around to get a better view and soon realised it was a woman looking down at the road below.

Concerned she was about to harm herself, Dc Smith parked his car and walked slowly over to her – reassuring the woman he was there to help.

She was extremely distressed and the temperature was also repadily dropping.

Dc Smith continued to reassure her and after 15 minutes had managed to convince her to come to his car.

He then drove her home.

The incident was then reported to Essex Police’s Force Control Room who arranged for uniformed officers to meet the woman at her house and get her the help she needed.

Dc Smith said: “I saw the woman kneeling on the pathway and it struck me as strange.

“I went back to check that she was ok and ended up talking to her for around 15 minutes.

“It was just the right thing to do.

“I’d like to think anyone else would offer to help in the same circumstances.

“Just saying hello can make all the difference.”