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Avon & Somerset Police Federation

Avon and Somerset Police officers nominated for The National Police Bravery Awards

7 June 2022

Two Avon and Somerset Police officers who stopped a violent man armed with a knife and an axe from harming himself and others in a residential street have been nominated for the National Police Bravery Awards.

The officers, who do not want to be named, were called to deal with reports of an aggressive armed man who was threatening members of the public in Shirehampton in January last year.

The man had earlier threatened a workmate with an axe and was now wandering the town's streets carrying the weapon and a large knife.

He had smashed the windows in his own home earlier and was clearly distressed and volatile.

Seeing the officers had arrived on the scene, the man turned his aggressive attention towards them and started running towards the young-in-service constables.

Keeping calm despite the aggressive provocation, the officers managed to keep themselves between the man and members of the public – who by now had gathered to see what was going on.

At the time of the incident, neither officer had undergone Taser training, so one of the officers deployed his PAVA spray while trying to keep a safe distance from the man's swinging axe and knife.

The PAVA began to take effect, giving the officer the chance to administer another dose which eventually slowed the rampaging man enough for the officers to deploy cuffs.

The officers then secured the weapons and the scene as the man tried to bite and kick out at them.

The man was later sentenced to 22 months in prison.

Avon and Somerset Police Federation Chair Mark Loker said the officers' actions were outstanding, particularly given one was so young in service and the other has under three years' service at the force.

"They showed real courage in dealing with this violent man in what was an ever-evolving and fast-paced incident," he said.

"They had to make quick decisions and deal with the crowd which had gathered. With no Taser training, they had to use the resources they had in the best way to get this volatile man detained.

"I dread to think what might have happened had they not done what they did that day; they were both outstanding."

The National Police Bravery Awards honour officers from across England and Wales who have performed outstanding acts of bravery while on or off duty.

As nominees, the officers will join colleagues from across the country in attending a reception and an evening awards ceremony in London in July.

The awards are sponsored by Police Mutual.