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Lone officer who confronted vicious armed attacker wins police bravery award – Police Bravery Awards 2014 – Winner (North Eastern Region)

October 17, 2014, 6:00 pm

An officer who confronted and arrested an armed man who was beating another with a long piece of wood has been handed a prestigious police bravery award.

In the middle of a snowstorm in the early hours of 21 January 2014, Sgt Christopher Foster was alone on patrol in Barnsley when he saw a man repeatedly hitting with the stick another man who was curled up on the floor in a ball.

As he approached the offender, the man pointed what looked like a firearm into the officers face, threatening to shoot him.

Sgt Foster sprayed PAVA into the mans face but to no effect and the offender then came for him, attempting to hit him with his weapon. Sgt Foster, who was a PC at the time, sprayed PAVA at him again allowing the officer to take hold and restrain him until back up arrived.

Sgt Foster has now won the north east region Police Bravery Award at a ceremony in London, attended by Home Secretary Theresa May, police minister Mike Penning and Met Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, among other dignitaries. He was presented with the award by Yvette Cooper, shadow home secretary.

Sgt Foster said:  “People are doing this day in and day out.  To be singled out makes me feel a bit uncomfortable.  So I would like to accept this award for the benefit of all of them.”

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.”

Earlier in the day, Sgt Foster joined 65 of his 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.

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