Police Federation

Awards nominee: West Midlands

PC Adam McWalter and PC Lorna Walsh

PC Adam McWalter and PC Lorna Walsh

Student officers tackle men armed with knives

PCs Walsh and McWalter, both student officers with 18 months service, volunteered to change their shifts and work into the early hours to tackle local concerns regarding prostitution and anti-social behaviour.

Both officers were in plain clothes when they noticed a disturbance taking place amongst a group of 20 men. They saw one of the men holding a large kitchen knife with an eight-inch blade to the stomach of another man. The officers got out of the car and shouted “police, put the knife down, put the knife on the floor”. In the absence of Taser, PC McWalter had drawn his Pava and PC Walsh had drawn her baton as they shouted for the man to put the knife down. Instead, the man started to run towards PC McWalter holding the knife in front of him in a threatening manner, but then threw it over a nearby wall.

PC McWalter ran after him, not knowing whether the man was armed with any other weapons. A second man drew a large kitchen knife from the waistband of his trousers and ran towards PC Walsh whilst wielding the knife in the air. PC Walsh shouted at the man to put the knife down but after running out of reach he began to chase after PC McWalter, shouting “police won’t get you brother”, which PC Walsh saw as a grave threat to her colleague. She screamed to her colleague to warn him of the secondary threat then ran towards him after hearing that he had activated his emergency button.

PC McWalter managed to keep both offenders within sight, even though the second man turned and ran at him again with a knife. Following the back up shout, fellow colleagues and traffic officers with Tasers attended and red dotted both men. Two knives were recovered, and both men were arrested.

Both officers described the incident as the single most scary moment of their policing career, yet they kept going, intent on bringing the offender to justice.

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