90 days from today is Thu, 28 December 2023

Gwent Police Federation

First Minister honours brave officer

1 December 2022

Menna and the First Minister

Menna and the First Minister.

Gwent Police’s national Police Bravery Awards nominee Sergeant Menna Watkins has met the Welsh First Minister at a special reception.

Sgt Watkins joined fellow award nominees from the Welsh forces at the event in Cardiff.

First Minister Mark Drakeford, Welsh deputy minister for social partnership Hannah Blythyn and minister for social justice Jane Hutt hosted the reception at Cathays Park 1 which is the Welsh Government building in the city centre.

Speaking after the event, Sgt Watkins said: “I was overwhelmed with how lovely it was, meeting the First Minister who is such a lovely man. We were all treated so well once again and are very grateful.”

Federation national chair Steve Hartshorn, National Board member for the Welsh region Zac Mader and Welsh affairs lead Nicky Ryan were also at the reception.

Nicky said: “We are extremely proud of the officers from the Welsh forces who were nominated for Police Bravery Awards this year.

“Each of them has shown incredible courage in very difficult circumstances and although they have all played down the parts they played, they are fully deserving of this recognition from the Welsh Government.

“The reception at Cathays Park 1 was a fantastic event and I am so pleased the First Minister took time to meet and speak to the brave officers who give so much to their communities.

“During the reception, the ministers took a real interest in the effects the incidents for which the officers were nominated for the awards had upon them as individuals and how they were subsequently supported.

“It is important that policing feels it has the support of the Welsh Government and events like this show the unique and vital role our members play in Welsh society is recognised by our elected leaders.”

Sgt Watkins was nominated for the prestigious bravery award after an incident which began to unfold when she responded to reports of  a man being threatened with a knife.

She spoke to the alleged victim at the scene and was trying to get more information about the suspect when he charged through the crowd of onlookers and lunged towards her.

She deployed her Taser as he ran towards her and then handcuffed him and waited for back-up to arrive at the scene.

Sgt Watkins and her partner, Justin Jones, who is also a serving officer on the firearms team with the Gwent Police, joined fellow nominees from across England and Wales for the Police Federation Police Bravery Awards ceremony in London last July.