18 July 2019
A Gwent Police officer who fought off a frenzied attacker – despite her hand being in plaster - has won a prestigious Police Bravery Award.
PC Kelda Griffiths was named as the Region 7 (Wales) winner at the 24th national Police Bravery Awards on 18 July, hosted by the Police Federation of England and Wales. The awards, sponsored by Police Mutual, honour and recognise police officers who perform outstanding acts of bravery.
PC Griffiths’ right hand was in plaster after she fractured it arresting a violent man the previous week. She saw a woman screaming, hitting windows with her hands and kicking parked cars, before smashing the front door window of a neighbour’s house.
PC Griffiths tried to calm her down, but she walked towards the officer swinging the hammer and screaming. The woman ran towards a man with the hammer raised, so the off-duty officer grabbed her from behind to stop her hitting him, managing to get hold of the hammer.
PC Griffiths fell to the floor, when the woman’s mother arrived and stood on PC Griffiths' plastered hand, stopping her from getting up. The first woman then attacked PC Griffiths, gouging her eyes, pulling her up by her hair and biting her head. She could hear the woman saying, “yum can I taste your blood”. Fighting for her life, she managed to kick the women away, threw the hammer towards the man and ran into a house.
Speaking after the ordeal, PC Griffiths said: "I’ve been involved in incidents where you get punched, you get hit, you get kicked but to have my eyes gouged the way they were, to be bitten…all the side of my head, my hair being pulled out – it was just not human to me. I do believe if the gentleman involved had got hit with the hammer, it would’ve been critical or life threatening.
"I can live with the injuries and what’s gone on in my life since but if I’d stood there and done nothing, I’d never live with myself for doing anything with that consequence – and I don’t think I would put this uniform back on, I really don’t."
John Apter, National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales said: "These awards highlight the incredible bravery that police officers show every single day. PC Griffiths demonstrated outstanding courage and dedication, putting the lives of others before her own without a second thought."
John Perks, Chief Executive Officer of Police Mutual, said: "For the past 11 years, Police Mutual is proud to have sponsored such an inspiring event in the policing calendar. It is a privilege for my colleagues and I to be able to show our respect for the exceptional bravery shown by police officers who risk their lives every day to protect the public and keep us safe. We hope that we can continue to play our part in helping improve the lives of the police family."