Bravery award for officers who stopped man trying to stab himself to death – Police Bravery Awards 2014 – Winner (Eastern Region)
October 17, 2014, 6:00 pm
Two Suffolk Constabulary officers have won a prestigious police bravery award for stopping a violent man from killing himself.
When PC Paul Osmond stopped the man from stabbing himself in the stomach, the offender turned the knife on the officers, stabbing his colleague PC Rebecca Gardiner and then attempting to stab PC Osmond before they restrained and arrested him.
The officers showed tremendous courage and resilience to overcome the very violent offender and have now won the eastern region Police Bravery Award at a ceremony in central London attended by the Home Secretary, police minister Mike Penning and Met Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, among other dignitaries. They were presented with the award by Stephen Mann, chief executive of Police Mutual.
The two officers had received a call at 5.45pm on 3 July 2012, requesting their attendance at a road traffic collision involving three cars. One car had made off from the scene. Their enquiries led them to an address where they found and spoke to the driver of the car. It was apparent he had been drinking and a breath test confirmed this.
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While in the kitchen of his house in Newmarket, the offender grabbed a large kitchen knife and started stabbing himself, pushing the blade deep into his stomach. He did this with such force that PC Osmond thought the man was going to disembowel himself.
PC Osmond shouted at him to stop and PC Gardiner rushed in from making a radio call in the hall and also shouted at him to stop. He suddenly pulled the knife out with both hands and was bleeding profusely. PC Gardiner sprayed him with PAVA spray to no effect. It did however have a profound effect on PC Osmond who was effectively blinded by the spray.
The man grabbed the knife and lunged ferociously at PC Gardiner. The knife struck her stab vest and she jumped back. At the same time she pushed against the offenders chest causing him to stumble backwards. He raised the knife again, with the point very close to PC Osmonds face. PC Osmond struck the offender with his elbow which made him drop the knife and PC Gardiner quickly pushed it out of reach. Together they managed to place him in handcuffs until back up arrived.
Earlier in the day, PC Osmond and PC Gardiner joined 64 of their colleagues from 31 forces round the country for a reception at 10 Downing Street with Prime Minister David Cameron as a mark of recognition for their heroic acts.
PC Gardiner said: “We are both shocked and flattered to be nominated. You read about what the officers from other forces have done and it is overwhelming and exciting to feel that we have won this award. The support from people has been incredible and to have the actions of everyday police officers, whoever they are, recognised in this way is incredible.”
Steve White, chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “I am constantly humbled and amazed by the selfless acts of bravery carried out by police officers on a day to day basis. For every act of courage and bravery recognised in the Police Bravery Awards there are hundreds more that occur in our communities every day that go unrecognised. Each nominee is a credit to the police service and to the community they serve.”
Stephen Mann, CEO, Police Mutual, said: “Every day, police officers across the country face incredibly difficult and dangerous situations, acting with real heroism to protect the lives of others. All of the officers nominated for an award have shown great dedication to their duty and remarkable courage. Police Mutual is honoured to continue our sponsorship of the Police Bravery Awards for the sixth consecutive year and we give our sincere thanks to the men and women who keep us all safe.”