A police officer who was slashed twice in the face as he tackled a man under the influence of drugs has been nominated for the Police Bravery Awards 2022, along with two colleagues who came to his aid.
Experienced officer PC Steve Reid suffered horrific injuries when he was attacked with a knife by a suspect after PC Reid and PC Korbiel were called to a robbery.
As PC Reid attempted to arrest the suspect, he was slashed by the man with a knife and came close to close to being “blinded or killed” as the blade narrowly missed his eyes and a major artery.
His newly qualified colleague PC Weronika Korbiel then took charge of the situation before back-up arrived, and PC Stephen Fowkes used his Taser to eventually subdue and arrest the individual.
In putting forward PC Reid for the award, Sergeant Jonathan Dillon said: “While reviewing the body-worn video, I was immensely proud of Steve for moving forward without hesitation into the home of a member of the public after this violent offender forced his way in.
“When Steve was slashed with the knife he continued to engage with the control room and stay focused on the task at hand.
“He stepped forward and was injured as a result of trying to prevent the offender from going into another member of the public’s home.
“If Steve hadn’t risked his own safety to stop this from happening it is not a stretch to imagine members of the public falling victim to this male’s appalling behaviour.”
With PC Reid seriously injured, PC Korbiel took charge of the incident, ushering people back into their homes while keeping Jefford in sight.
In his citation, PS Dillon said: “PC Korbiel showed courage, determination and professionalism during an incident in which she witnessed a more experienced officer become seriously injured.”
When reinforcements arrived, PC Fowkes eventually used his Taser to reduce the risk of more officers being injured.
PS Dillon explained: “PC Fowkes delivered a robust challenge to the suspect demonstrating police officers will step forward to protect members of the public in difficult circumstances.”
In July last year, the individual was jailed for 10 years and 10 months after admitting wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, robbery, criminal damage, and possession of crack cocaine and heroin.
Judge Robert Egbuna described his attack as “a drug-fuelled, uncontrollable, violent rampage”.
The judge added: “It was a horribly dangerous weapon and the injuries speak volumes. You could have killed the officer; you could have blinded the officer. It was sheer luck neither of these happened. You have left him with permanent scarring.”
After returning to work when he had recovered from his injuries, PC Reid became a Derbyshire Police Federation workplace representative so that he could offer support to colleagues and in December he took on the role of the branch’s health and safety lead.
PS Dillon’s comments were supported by the Divisional Commander, Chief Superintendent Dave Cox, who is also the chair of Derbyshire’s branch of the Police Superintendents’ Association. An awards panel chaired by Deputy Chief Constable Kate Meynell and including representatives from the Police Federation, the Superintendents’ Association and UNISON unanimously supported the officers’ nominations for Chief Constable’s Commendations.