Police Federation

Awards nominee: Staffordshire

PC Matthew Salt and PC Katie Ratcliffe

PC Matthew Salt and PC Katie Ratcliffe

Officers confront woman wielding machetes

Police received numerous calls from the public that a woman who was believed to be from the military, was on a local housing estate armed with two machetes.

The woman had threatened members of the public with the weapons and was trying to get into a house, repeatedly hitting the machetes on the front door.

Armed response officers were called, but they were some way off, so PCs Ratcliffe and Salt were first on the scene.

They spotted the woman repeatedly hitting a door and confronted her to draw her attention and safeguard the people inside. Both officers drew their Tasers – PC Ratcliffe had only received her initial training less than a fortnight before and this was her first use.

A crowd had begun to form, so the officers kept the woman away from the public, putting themselves and their own personal safety in direct confrontation with the armed offender. After calming down, the woman put the machetes down but then picked them back up and started swinging them around whilst walking towards PC Salt.

PC Ratcliffe managed to get behind the woman, who after repeated requests to drop the weapons lunged towards PC Salt. This is when PC Ratcliffe used her Taser, which was successful. The woman dropped her weapons and fell to the floor.

PC Salt handcuffed her as the armed officers and ambulance arrived.

This offender was intent on causing harm but both officers refused to be intimidated, even although their lives were in real danger.

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