A pair of police officers who sustained injuries in a hit and run have been nominated for the National Police Bravery Awards 2023.
On 17 May 2022, PCs Dan Parr and Steph Catterall attended a callout whereby a member of public had witnessed two males acting suspiciously and discarding a bag nearby.
Recovering a large holdall containing a significant amount of cash and a quantity of drugs, the officers were provided with a description of a vehicle which had been seen around the area acting suspiciously.
After an area search, a vehicle matching the description was identified by the officers and stopped.
PC Parr and PC Catterall spoke to the occupants who were evading questions. As the officers were attempting to search the vehicle, the driver accelerated and began to drive off.
PC Parr attempted to prevent this but was dragged along by the vehicle and pulled underneath the wheelbase causing serious injury to himself in the form of a broken wrist, dislocated shoulder, and soft tissue damage to his leg leaving him in excruciating pain. PC Catterall also sustained injures to her shoulder in the incident.
PC Catterall gave immediate first aid to PC Parr whilst providing clear communications through her radio as to what had occurred. This allowed colleagues to attend swiftly to assist the injured officer, preserve evidence and apprehend the offenders.
The vehicle was located a short distance away and the two offenders were detained and arrested for various offences.
PC Parr had described in his victim impact statement feeling his head banging on the floor and the van being driven over his legs, leaving him fearful he would never walk again.
He was taken to hospital where he was operated on for a dislocated right shoulder, and he also suffered a broken wrist. Fortunately, his legs were not broken.
PC Catterall also received what were described as "soft tissue" injuries in the incident.
Tony Fairclough, Merseyside Police Federation chair, said: “This is an outstanding example of teamwork, bravery and determination by PC Parr and PC Catterall and exemplifies how our selfless police officers put themselves in harm’s way to protect the community of Merseyside.
“The injuries they sustained from this incident were horrific, highlighting the real dangers and unpredictability of the work police officers undertake on a daily basis. Their dedication and bravery ultimately lead to the arrest and conviction of two individuals at Liverpool Crown Court for possessing cocaine and cannabis with intent to supply and causing serious injury by dangerous driving respectively. We are very proud of Dan and Steph, both very worthy nominees for this years’ National Police Bravery Awards.”
Merseyside Police Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said: “PC Parr and PC Catterall are an absolute credit to Merseyside Police and to the communities they serve.
“The bravery and proactive actions of PC Parr in seeking to detain two suspects who were engaged in criminal behaviour led to him receiving serious injuries. The injuries were believed to be so serious that NWAS were unable to move him for well over an hour.
“PC Catterall, despite the emotions she must have been feeling knowing her colleague was seriously injured, kept her composure.
“PC Parr’s commitment to the organisation was evident – within weeks he was mithering his command team to come back to work and he had to be told to focus on his recovery and his wellbeing.
“I am incredibly proud of the actions of both officers on this night.”