Police Federation


PC Ryan Murley

PC Ryan Murley

A police officer who single-handedly confronted two dangerous men wanted on suspicion of attempted murder the day before has been nominated for the National Police Bravery Awards 2023.

On Sunday 18 September 2022, two brothers attended an address armed with knives and an axe.

They entered the address and stabbed a pet dog before attacking the male and female occupants, stabbing them multiple times, causing significant injuries.

The two suspects were identified, and efforts were made to locate and arrest them on suspicion of attempted murder.

The following day, PC Ryan Murley was on duty and was called out to attend an address on an unconnected matter.

On his arrival, he was told the two males responsible for the knife attacks were at the address.

PC Murley quickly enquired and established that the suspects may be inside the premises.

He updated the control room and whilst waiting for further instructions, was told two males were at the rear of the property. Although on his own, he made the decision to pursue the suspects even though he knew they may still be armed and dangerous.

The men immediately fled on foot and a brief chase ensued. As they entered an isolated narrow field, they stopped and confronted the officer.

PC Murley found himself facing the potentially dangerous men, one of whom he believed to be in possession of a bladed article. He relayed this information to the control room and then made the tactical decision to draw his Taser.

Conscious of the precarious situation he was in, PC Murley tried to engage the suspects in tactical communication.

One of the men became very agitated and aggressive, making threats to the officer. At one stage this male used the other male as a shield shouting at him to take PC Murley’s Taser so he could knock him out or stab him.

PC Murley continued to create tactical distance whilst updating colleagues traveling to his location as backup.

The officer was aware that his Taser could only be used on one subject, and once discharged, he would have been left vulnerable.

PC Murley noted one of the males reaching into his pocket and removing a bottle or packet containing pills which he then attempted to swallow.

At this, he discharged his Taser and was able to arrest the male on suspicion of attempted murder before backup arrived.

The second male was also arrested by a colleague.

During the arrest, one of the men spat in PC Murley’s face knowing he had hepatitis a.

Both men were later charged and remanded in custody for attempted murder, and a string of other offences.

Both suspects pleaded guilty after 6 days of trial.

Andy Jackson, Durham Police Federation chair, commented: “This was clearly a challenging situation for PC Murley. He found himself alone and fully aware of the danger he faced in confronting two males suspected of two attempted murders the previous day.

“Without any thought for his own safety, and whilst outnumbered, he confronted the two males who posed a significant threat. He also believed that at least one of the males was armed with a blade and was aware of their propensity for violence. He remained calm and controlled the situation until the arrival of colleagues.

“PC Murley demonstrated tenacity and bravery in confronting these males without a thought for his own safety. His actions led to the detention of two violent individuals and helped keep communities in the area safe from further harm.”

Chief Constable Jo Farrell said: “Our officers put themselves in harm’s way to keep the public safe every night and day and the courage of PCMurley in handling this incident is a clear demonstration of that selfless determination to protect the people of County Durham and Darlington.

“Faced with two violent offenders who had committed a horrendous attack only 24 hours earlier, he showed true dedication and calm, professional judgment in detaining the suspects despite the risk to his own safety.

“PC Murley should be truly proud of this award and I would like to offer my thanks for his bravery and his service on behalf of everyone at Durham Constabulary and the wider community that we serve.”

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