13 June 2019
Parked outside a petrol station in a marked police car PC Kim Wheldon couldn’t quite believe it when she saw a man attack the customer ahead of him in the queue right in front of her.
She quickly explained that she needed to end the call she was on and went to the victim’s aid but was shocked to find that he had been stabbed.
“At first as I watched from the car, I thought it was two people who knew each other having a bit of an argument to be honest. I could see it getting heated but I’d taken an important call on my radio so had to explain to the person I was speaking to that I needed to go as I saw it starting to turn into a bit more than just a few cross words. I saw the victim point over at me, as though to point out to the other male that I was there and could see what he was doing,” Kim explained.
“As I went over, I thought the victim had been punched, he was holding his neck so I couldn’t see any injuries. It was only when he pulled his hand away that I saw that he was bleeding heavily and he told me he’d been stabbed. I was completely shocked, you don’t expect that to happen right in front of you - even doing this job. At that point, I just wanted to get the offender detained and in the police car so he couldn’t hurt anyone else.”
Kim’s instinctive reactions, with no real concern for her own safety, have now led to her being forward as this year’s Derbyshire Police Federation nominee for the national Police Bravery Awards and in July she will attend a Downing Street reception and a gala awards ceremony for brave officers from across England and Wales.
Tony Wetton, chair of Derbyshire Police Federation, has praised Kim for her actions.
“Kim is a very worthy nominee for the bravery awards which are held each year to highlight the brave and selfless actions of police officers across the country who day in, day out in carrying out their duties protecting and serving the public put their own lives on the line,” he says.
“Thankfully, Kim was not injured in this incident but the outcome could have been very different. The individual involved was clearly violent and unpredictable and Kim put herself in an extremely dangerous situation to ensure that no one else was injured. She acted in the finest traditions of policing and I will be very proud to accompany her to the bravery awards where her commitment to serving the public will be honoured.”
‘Don’t be a hero’
Brave Kim says that after the incident she was in two minds about whether to tell her family about the incident as she knew they would just be worried.
“Their favourite line is ‘don’t be a hero’… but I have to remind them that I’m not trying to be a hero - and I’m definitely not a hero! It’s my job to protect the public and I can’t just stand back and not act when things happen,” she says.
“My partner was shocked at what had happened and was worried I could have been hurt myself but I just reminded him that I have a brilliant shift where we all look after each other and I’ve done training to deal with situations like this. My family and friends are all proud of me for doing this job but, of course, they worry, as I’m sure every other police officer’s family does.”
Kim has already received a Chief Constable’s Commendation for her action but says she is completely shocked to have been nominated for the bravery award.
“I never thought I would be put forward. I had already received the Chief Constable’s commendation which I was so grateful for and I thought that was the end of it. We all deal with difficult things daily and I just thought ‘who, me?’ I didn’t do anything that any other officer wouldn’t have done in the same situation,” she explains.