Police officers who have demonstrated outstanding acts of bravery were commended at the 23rd Annual Police Bravery Awards.
The awards, hosted by the Police Federation of England and Wales and sponsored by Police Mutual, honours some of the finest officers in England and Wales who have performed incredible acts of bravery, while on or off duty.
The two overall joint winners this year are:
PC Keith Palmer GM – Metropolitan Police (accepted by friend and colleague PC Shaun Cartwright)
PC Palmer was awarded posthumously, after he was tragically killed in the Westminster terror attack. He was on duty at Westminster Palace when a terrorist drove into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, injuring and killing innocent people. He then crashed his vehicle and ran into the terrified crowds. Petrified members of the public were running away, passing where PC Palmer was on duty. Hearing the screaming coming from Westminster Bridge, unarmed PC Palmer immediately ran towards the noise. He began closing the gates, intent on protecting those within Parliament. But as he was doing his job he was set upon by the terrorist and attacked with a knife. Tragically PC Palmer died of his injuries. His brave actions gave armed police critical time to react, potentially saving countless lives.
PC Charlie Guenigault - Metropolitan Police
PC Guenigault was on his way home from relaxing with friends after finishing his shift, when three knife-wielding terrorists attacked the public at London Bridge. Unarmed PC Guenigault was determined to protect the innocent people around him and ran towards the terrorists, fighting them with his bare hands. The terrorists stabbed him repeatedly, leaving him in a critical condition.
The eight regional winners for this year are as follows:
Region 1 (North West) Greater Manchester Police
PC Mohammed Nadeem jumped 8ft into a fast flowing, icy river to save a man.
Region 2 (North East) Northumbria
PCs Gary Sharpe and Victoria Threadgold confronted and disarmed a man waving a 4ft samurai sword at them and later a handgun.
Region 3 (Midlands) West Mercia
PC Kimberley Morris gave vital first aid to a stabbing victim, while keeping the suspected attacker talking and in view while back up arrived
Region 4 (Eastern) Norfolk
A man came at lone officer PC Frances Peters with a sword in each hand. Using her Pava spray and personal safety skills she restrained and handcuffed him until other officers arrived.
Region 5 (South East) Thames Valley
Off duty officer Sergeant Mark Allmond and PC Alex Quigley followed and detained a man who had killed a stranger in Poundland. The man was walking the streets still clutching the knife and making threats when the officers intervened.
Region 6 (South West) Wiltshire
Inspector Ian Stevenson pulled a vulnerable woman off a railway track just as a train was approaching. The train missed them by a couple of feet in a scene his colleague described as “like something out of a movie”.
Region 7 (Wales) North Wales
PCs David Hall and Rhys Rushby were attacked by a wanted murder suspect with a claw hammer. The offender was biting and punching, screaming that he had a gun and was going to kill - before thrusting an unknown object underneath PC Rushby’s throat. The object was a nine inch kitchen knife.
Region 8 (London) PC Keith Palmer GM and PC Charlie Guenigault
PC Palmer paid the ultimate sacrifice after he was tragically killed in the Westminster terror attack last year. PC Charlie Guenigault was on his way home from relaxing with friends after finishing his shift when three knife-wielding terrorists attacked the public at London Bride. Unarmed PC Guenigault was determined to protect the innocent people around him and ran towards the terrorists, fighting them with his bare hands. The terrorists stabbed him repeatedly, leaving him in a critical condition.
Calum Macleod, Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said:
“These awards are a chance to showcase the exceptional bravery that officers protecting our country show day in, day out. The heroic deeds we have heard about today did not happen by accident; they were borne of dedication, selflessness and an overwhelming commitment to keeping the public safe. Today we commemorate true heroes. PC Keith Palmer GM paid the ultimate sacrifice for his bravery, but thanks to him many, many more deaths were prevented that day. For PC Charlie Guenigault, there was no such thing as ‘off duty’. He ran towards a situation that most of us can’t even imagine, putting himself in grave danger and thinking only of helping others. As Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, I am immensely proud to have shared this day with such well deserving nominees and winners. Congratulations to you all.”
Stephen Mann, CEO of Police Mutual, said:
“Over the last 10 years, Police Mutual has been proud to have sponsored such an inspirational event in the policing calendar and for my colleagues and I to be able to show our respect for the exceptional courage shown by police officers who risk their lives every day to protect the public and keep us safe”.
For more information about the Police Bravery Awards please visit http://polfed.org/bravery