Six Norfolk police officers who refused to give up in their efforts to save the life of a woman have received prestigious national honours.

The team fought a life and death battle after the woman from Dereham had phoned her mental health team saying she intended to end her life.

She was found not breathing after police were alerted and rushed to the scene in February this year where they broke into the house.

Fighting to save her, they began administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and using other first aid equipment on her including a defibrillator.

Eventually they were able to get the woman’s pulse going again and she was taken to hospital where she was put into an induced coma before going on to make a full recovery.

PCs Samuel Bates, Michael Douglas, Katie Nel, Jonathan Skipper, Christopher Webb and a sixth officer have now received national recognition for their quick-thinking and determined lifesaving response.

They have each been awarded resuscitation certificates from the Royal Humane Society, the premier national body for honouring bravery in the saving of human life.

Praising their efforts, society secretary, Andrew Chapman, said: “This was a nightmare scenario. The woman was effectively dead when the officers reached her but they refused to give up on her.

“They fought long and hard to resuscitate her and in the end all their efforts paid dividends. Her pulse began beating again and she went on to make a full recovery.

“No-one could deserve these awards more than these officers. They did a magnificent job. They saved a life.”

The charity, which grants awards for acts of bravery in the saving of human life and preserving life by resuscitation, has considered over 87,000 cases and made over 200,000 awards since it was founded in 1774.

Norfolk chief constable Paul Sanford said: "The Royal Humane Society awards are an opportunity for us to be recognised for the incredible efforts that our officers go to save lives.

"I would like to give my personal thanks to all the award recipients for the valuable contribution that each and every one of them makes to the policing of this county.”

Norfolk police has seen a dramatic increase in mental health-related call-outs with the body representing rank-and-file officers saying cutbacks in support services for people in crisis had left them to pick up the pieces.

Last week an inspection report said the struggles of the region's mental health trust had piled "additional pressure" on police officers.