A pair of officers have been nominated for their heroic actions in the face of extreme threat and violence from an individual armed with a large kitchen knife.
On Sunday 16 October PC Mercedes Newman and PC Tristian Morrison attended a call from a member of the public who reported an individual with a knife who requested the police be called to his location where he had said there had been a murder.
Upon arrival at the scene, the individual had retreated to a secluded car park, where on being approached by PC Newman he pulled a large knife from his pocket and held the knife to his throat.
PC Newman drew her Taser and instructed the individual to drop the weapon. In an instant he became extremely aggressive, rushing PC Newman with the knife raised above his head and attempting to stab and slash at PC Newman’s face and upper body.
The Taser was deployed but it had no effect due to the layers of clothing the individual was wearing.
PC Morrison had grabbed and pulled PC Newman backwards when the individual raised his knife, quite possibly saving her from injury.
At this point PC Morrison shouted for PC Newman to run, but neither officer fled and with baton and PAVA spray the individual was disarmed. He then fled the scene and while PC Newman recovered the weapon, PC Morrison gave chase on foot.
The suspect kept one hand in his pocket giving the impression he was still armed. As he ran, PC Morrison kept the public safe giving clear instruction for them to make way and gave a commentary over his radio, enabling other officers to arrive on scene as quickly as possible.
PC Morrison is a student officer with a number of years as a PCSO, and PC Newman has less than three years’ experience.
Luke Mitchell, Hertfordshire Police Federation chair, commented: “The actions of PC Newman and PC Morrison were exemplary, in the face of an experience that most of us will not encounter during our careers – an experience that will undoubtedly have a lasting a psychological impact on them.
“That these two young officers did not back down from such a dangerous individual and worked together in such challenging circumstances demonstrated extreme bravery and a commitment to keeping the public safe despite the risk to their own lives.”
Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Chief Constable Charlie Hall added: “Watching the body worn footage of this incident, it is something that I have no doubt will stay with PC Newman and PC Morrison for the rest of their lives. It is only thanks to their quick and professional actions that no one was injured that day.
“Dedicated to public service, they stood side by side as a team, protecting each other as well as the wider public, the suspect and ensuring he was disarmed and then detained.
“This incident demonstrates the dangers that frontline police officers can face and while most of members of the public would quite rightly run from this threat of violence, as police officers we are trained to face danger to keep others safe from harm. That’s exactly what PC Newman and PC Morrison did that day and for that I am extremely proud and forever grateful.”