Police Federation

Met 2


An officer who seized a split-second opportunity to apprehend an armed suspect as he found himself looking down the barrel of a gun has been nominated for the National Police Bravery Awards 2023.

On 4 February 2022 during a routine patrol of the outer circle of Regent’s Park, PC Andrew Cushing’s attention, and that of his partner PC Mark Palin, was drawn to a vehicle driving erratically in the opposite direction. They turned their motorcycles and attempted a stop of the vehicle which then took off at speed.

After a short pursuit the vehicle was lost, and the two officers split up to search the side streets.

PC Cushing discovered the vehicle and gave chase once more, but soon terminated his pursuit when it drove on the wrong side of the road and became a significant threat to the public.

The vehicle was discovered minutes later, crashed with airbags deployed and the suspect was seen running away from the scene.

PC Cushing tried to stop the suspect, challenging him with his Taser and deploying both cartridges in his efforts. With no effect from the Taser a struggle ensued during which the suspect pulled a gun and pointed it straight in PC Cushing’s face.

Still without his partner, PC Cushing was faced with an armed suspect and no cartridges in his Taser.

He was alone and had to think quickly, so when the suspect slightly lowered the weapon PC Cushing took the chance to strike him and disarm him.

PC Cushing eventually overpowered him and got the suspect to the floor, at which point PC Palin arrived on scene and helped with the arrest.

It was only once officers from the Specialist Firearms Command arrived on scene was it established that the suspect had been armed with an imitation firearm.

PC Cushing’s dedication and bravery, in the face of what he believed to be a suspect armed with a live firearm, ensured a dangerous individual was removed from the streets.

Metropolitan Police Federation Chair Ken Marsh said: “This was a very scary incident that escalated quickly, and Andy used all his training to remain calm and in control. It could have ended very differently.

“Sadly, once again this highlights the dangers colleagues across the capital face each and every day. This is the often-unreported work that our Metropolitan Police officers carry out. They never know what the call would be or the danger they can face.

“I commend Andy for his incredible, courageous actions – he is a very worthy nominee for these Awards.”

Commander Simon Messinger, of Met Protection, said: “PC Cushing doggedly pursued a driver who was putting people’s lives at risk, only to find himself looking down the barrel of a gun.

"This terrifying situation would panic most people, but PC Cushing acted with the utmost calm and clarity of thought, seizing a split-second opportunity to disarm the man so he could be arrested, and the public be kept safe.”

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