Police Federation



A pair of officers who faced a precarious situation involving a knife-wielding man on a rooftop have been nominated for the national Police Bravery Awards 2024 for using their exemplary decision-making skills throughout the scenario.

On 16 March 2023, in the evening, PC James Taylor from Gloucestershire Constabulary was working after office hours, dedicated to his investigation into a dangerous and exploitative drugs network, and PS Sarah-Jane Tucker was the local police sergeant running the Stroud area.

PC Taylor and his colleagues attended to a call whereby a violent adult male had armed himself with a knife and a long metal object, before climbing onto the roof of a single-storey outbuilding in a residential garden.

Remaining calm, collected and patient, PC Taylor negotiated with the aggressive male making threats, who was either suffering from mental health issues, under the influence of drugs or alcohol or a combination of all three.

Using his excellent policing skills, PC Taylor was able successfully and tactfully engage with the male to build an understanding of why he was on roof, helping to avoid him becoming confused during the crisis.

In doing so, he was able to prevent the male from escaping the rooftop and presenting threat, violence and danger to other colleagues and members of public.

PC Taylor verbally rationalised his National Decision-Making Model exceptionally, explaining the deployment of Taser would be difficult due to the fact the male was wearing a heavy puffer coat and only had a small area of his chest exposed.

This led to an assessment being made to request firearms support to the scene. In-between all of this, PS Tucker commanded and controlled the ground floor incident, ensuring officer and public safety was at the forefront.

Suddenly, the incident took a turn for the worse, and the man jumped down from the rooftop and stormed towards PC Taylor, flailing a large knife and the long metal object, which was then identified as a builder’s heavy duty spirit level.

PC Taylor deployed his Taser twice, with the second shot leaving the man incapacitated on the ground. Immediately, aftercare was given to the male, before PC Taylor and PS Tucker restrained him in handcuffs.

Both officers continued to communicate clearly and calmly to the man, as their colleagues assisted in recovering the weapons before he was arrested.

Gloucestershire Police Federation Chair Stephen James said: “This incident is all too symptomatic of the dangers our officers face on a regular basis. The actions of PS Tucker and PC Taylor were vital in protecting the public from the significant harm posed by this male.

“That they put themselves in harm’s way to protect others speaks volumes to their character and courage. We should all be grateful for their bravery, and we are immensely proud of them.”

Gloucestershire Constabulary Chief Constable Rod Hansen said: “I am immensely proud of James and Sarah-Jane for all they did during this very dangerous incident. The mission of Gloucestershire Constabulary is to keep people safe from harm and the incredibly courageous actions of both of our officers exemplified what we stand for - how we protect people in moments of acute risk and from potential harm.

“I was particularly impressed by the way they used their negotiating and decision-making skills to try to reason with the individual in question, and to safeguard and reassure members of the public nearby.

“Equally, in the moment of maximum danger decisive intervention meant the individual was no longer a threat to others, including our officers, or himself. James and Sarah-Jane showed fine judgement, and, of course, outstanding bravery and are thoroughly deserving of their awards - my congratulations to them both.”

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