Police Federation



A courageous sergeant who suffered a life-changing injury as he intervened to stop a gang of violent men who were assaulting members of the public has been nominated for the national Police Bravery Awards 2024.

On 2 April 2023, police received calls from various members of public about a group of around 5-10 people walking up Queens Road in Brighton towards the railway station, attacking people along the way at random.

This group had already been involved in a burglary at a venue in the city centre and had assaulted members of staff.

Sussex PS Alec Barrett was single crewed and witnessed the indiscriminate assaults by the gang from his patrol car.

PS Barrett immediately reported the fight on his radio and jumped from his car to stop the group and protect innocent members of the public. He was hugely outnumbered and, without any consideration of his personal safety, entered the crowd and took hold of a male without a top, who he had seen punch two men in the face.

The male violently struggled with PS Barrett, but he managed to get the male to the floor, leaving the officer in a vulnerable position. Before he knew it, one of the group members stormed towards him and punched him in the face multiple times.

PS Barrett tried to defend himself, but the blows continued to his face, causing life-changing injuries.

In order to stop this cowardly attack, PS Barrett had to let go of the male he had detained and take hold of the attacker, Jonathan Beauchamp, forcing him over to the other side of the road.

At this point PS Barrett was attacked further by friends of Beauchamp so he deployed his captor spray to drive them away.

Despite being seriously injured and the further attacks, PS Barrett managed to hold onto Beauchamp and call for assistance.

PS Barrett suffered a fractured eye socket and now has to live with a sunken eye socket for the rest of his life.

Seven members of the public came forward after being assaulted by this group as they walked up Queens Road that night which left them in hospital with ABH injuries.

PS Barrett’s brave acts undoubtedly stopped the group continuing with their cowardly attacks and prevented further members of the public being assaulted, or worse.

Sussex Police Federation Chair Raffaele Cioffi said: “Through this incident, Sergeant Barrett has shown the public the sacrifices our members make on their behalf. During this ordeal our member sustained a life-changing injury in the execution of his duty.

“He has selflessly put himself in harm’s way to uphold law and order, safeguarding our community with unwavering courage. PS Barratt’s fearless dedication in the face of danger serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for us all. Sergeant Barrett, thank you for your sacrifice.”

Sussex Police Chief Constable Jo Shiner said: “Every day, police officers put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public and catch criminals.

“The actions of Sergeant Alec Barrett, when faced with such a challenging and unpredictable situation, exemplified his sheer courage and selfless determination to keep people safe. 

“Despite the physical and emotional impact of the assault, PS Barrett’s passion and commitment to serving the community of Sussex has never wavered.

“It is testament to his character that he continues to show the utmost pride and professionalism in his work, so much so that he was named the Chief Constable’s Sussex Police Officer of the Year for 2023.

“PS Barrett is a credit to policing and is thoroughly deserving of this nomination.”



We use cookies on this website, you can read about them here To use the website as intended please... ACCEPT COOKIES