A Metropolitan Police officer, who was violently attacked with a sword but still managed to arrest the attacker, has been nominated for the National Police Bravery Awards.
On the evening of 30 November 2020, PC Aksit Ekrem was on the response team in Dagenham when a call came in for him and his partner to attend a domestic incident, where a woman had reported a male in his sixties behaving violently.
When they arrived at the property, a young lady was waiting for them and told them that her boyfriend’s father had been abusive, threatening them and slapping her boyfriend. The officers went into the house but the older man’s wife, who appeared intoxicated, was trying to obstruct them.
PC Ekrem said: “I went into the living room and there’s this little frail old man sitting in the corner. He’s just sat at the table and he’s not saying anything, he’s not doing anything.
“My colleague went into the kitchen to speak to the girlfriend who’d phoned us, so I thought I’ll just arrest him and I started saying the caution to him. I looked down at my vest to get my handcuffs out and when I look up he’s jumped out of his seat and he’s pulled a sword from behind him, holding it above his head to strike down at me.
“My first reaction was to get my head out of the way. So I dived to my left to avoid him, and as I did that he swiped down with the sword and caught me on the hand.
“So my training kicked in: back away, create space, draw my Taser and fire. But the Taser missed as he was a moving target, and then he thrust the tip of the sword towards my face. I backed into the kitchen where my colleague and the young lady were, and I thought, ‘If I don’t take this guy out he’s going to kill me and he’s going to kill everyone else in here.’”
The man lunged for PC Ekrem, but stumbled forwards and PC Ekrem managed to push him to the floor and pin him down. It was only then he realised there was blood pouring from his hand, and he called for backup and an ambulance.
PC Ekrem said: “I’ve never been so scared and vulnerable in my life. I didn’t know where the Taser had gone, I didn’t know where the sword had gone, I thought one of them was going to pick it up and attack me with it.”
But he managed to arrest and handcuff the man before more officers arrived on the scene. The 62-year-old attacker was charged with GBH with intent and was later sentenced to seven years in prison.
PC Ekrem was taken to hospital where he stayed for five days, and had pins put in his hand. Suffering from ligament damage, nerve damage and muscle wastage, he couldn’t use his hand and was off work for six months. He also experienced flashbacks and had to receive counselling.
PC Ekrem said it was “amazing” to receive the Bravery Award nomination, even though he felt he was just doing his job. He said: “I don’t see myself as a hero or anything. I was just doing what I’m supposed to do, but it’s nice to get recognition.”
Metropolitan Police Federation Chairman Ken Marsh said: “What a hero. This is the often unreported work that our Metropolitan Police officers carry out. They never know what the call would be or the danger they can face.
“Aksit thought this would be a normal day at work, but it turned violent very quickly and unexpectedly. He showed incredible courage in potentially putting his life in danger to protect others, tackle this man and arrest him, all while suffering a serious injury.
“I commend his astonishingly brave actions.”