Police Federation

Surrey

Two Surrey Police officers, who detained a suspect domestic abuser after he threatened them with a firearm and what appeared to be a live hand grenade, have been nominated for The National Police Bravery Awards.

PC Lisa Varley and an officer who does not wish to be named were called out to attend the domestic incident in Ashford, after a woman reported her husband had been threatening her. Officers received intelligence that he was suffering from mental ill health.

Reports came in that he had been threatening to harm himself and others with a long-barrelled firearm which, as the officers arrived on the scene, he was brandishing in the couple’s front garden.

As the officers carried out a risk assessment in a bid to get the woman out of the house, they could see the man was wearing camouflaged body armour.

The officers began negotiating with the man at a safe distance, but he wasn’t complying with their requests and started beckoning them towards him while levelling the firearm in their direction.

Using all their negotiation skills, the officers persuaded the man to drop his weapon, but he quickly changed his mind, picking it up again and edging back towards the house.

The officers realised they had no other option but to try and physically intervene to ensure the woman’s safety, even though it would place them in real danger.

Drawing a Taser, they managed to bring the man down and moved in to try and restrain him further. As they grappled with him, what appeared to be a hand grenade fell from his clothing which one of the officers quickly moved away from the immediate scene.

It was only after they had successfully detained the man did the officers realise he had even more weapons stashed inside his clothing.

Both officers have since received Chief Constable commendations for their actions.

The man received the mental health support he needed.

Surrey Police Federation Chair Mel Warnes said the officers had shown extreme courage during the terrifying incident.

“The officers found themselves in a highly challenging situation and had no way of knowing for sure whether the man was prepared to carry out his threats to harm using the firearm and other weapons in his possession,” she said.

“They made sound judgements throughout, and their decisive actions brought what could have been a tragic incident to a safe conclusion. They are both very worthy nominees for a National Bravery Award.”

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