Police Federation


An off-duty officer who kept hold of a violent individual to protect the public until backup could arrive, despite being relentlessly attacked, has been nominated for the national Police Bravery Awards 2024.

Off duty and enjoying his down time, a Northumbria Police officer was disturbed by a commotion in his street.

The officer, who wishes to remain anonymous, not in uniform or with any police kit that comes with the uniform, went to see what was causing the noise only to find an extremely aggressive individual trying to break the windows of a house with a rock. He understood immediately this was a domestic incident and, in his experience, knew this would escalate rapidly.

He called 999 while the man disappeared to the back of the house only to reappear with a plant pot which he used to smash through a window. At this point, he knew he had to intervene and help. He advised the caller handler of his intention.

As the PC approached the house, the individual was out of sight - but upon entering the garden the man jumped up and violently attacked him, punching his with all his force in the face, breaking his nose. He had no time to identify himself as a police officer.

The fight continued and he was repeatedly punched as he struggled to control the man before he saw a member of the public walk past. He shouted for help and for her to call the police, but not wanting to get involved, and with him not clearly identifiable as a police officer, the woman walked on.

The man managed to break free of the attempts to control him, at which point he identified himself as a police officer. This appeared to enrage the individual further who then ripped his own shirt off and continued his assault on him with more rage, repeatedly punching and grabbing at him.

After 10 minutes of this violent assault police officers arrived and had to resort to Taser to gain control of the individual and safely detain him.

Body worn video from the officers who arrived on scene shows him clearly in pain and exhausted. It took just under 10 minutes for police to arrive during which time he single-handedly fought the male and kept ahold of him.

The male was suspected of experiencing Acute Behavioural Disturbance due to his highly violent presentation and lack of any engagement.

He sustained a broken nose, ribs and bruising but still turned in for ‘earlies’ the next morning, although he was promptly sent home due to his state.

Northumbria Police Chief Constable Vanessa Jardine said: “He encapsulates exactly what it means to be a police officer and displayed real bravery in order to protect the community he not only serves but is also a part of.

“This was all while off-duty, highlighting further his commitment and dedication to keeping people safe.

“He should be extremely proud of his actions – I certainly am and it is a privilege to have him as a colleague within the Northumbria policing family.”

Jim Gray, chair of Northumbria Police Federation, said: “His actions and outstanding bravery remind us all that police officers are never truly ‘off duty’.

“During this incident, he selflessly put himself in harm’s way and sustained numerous injuries, in order to fulfil his duty and protect others.

“Speaking on behalf of all of his colleagues in Northumbria Police, we are proud to be associated with him and all hope that his bravery is appropriately recognised.”



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