Two Cambridgeshire officers who prevented a suicidal man from harming himself and others have been nominated for a national Police Bravery Award.
PC James Moore and PC Carl Stoppard will be recognised at the 22nd Police Bravery Awards next month, at a fitting ceremony in London. The awards honour and recognise police officers who performed outstanding acts of bravery while on or off duty, hosted by the Police Federation of England and Wales, and sponsored by Police Mutual.
On 12 November 2014, five minutes before the end of their shift, the two officers responded to an incident at a residential address in Wisbech. A man doused in petrol was using a hand angle grinder to try to break into a house with his terrified partner and daughter inside.
PCs Moore and Stoppard made their way to a porch area where they noticed the floor was wet, slippery and covered in petrol. They saw the hand angle grinder with its blade still spinning and ready to use. The officers located the suspect who had a lighter in a firm grip in his right hand and appeared ready to ignite it.
The officers were aware that Taser was not an option and instead distracted the man and swiftly grabbed his wrists and hands to be able to control him and get the lighter away. He was then restrained using two pairs of handcuffs. As other officers arrived, PCs Moore and Stoppard searched the garden and found a green plastic fuel container on fire which was only 6-8 feet away from the house and close to a stack of tyres and a wooden fence. They moved the container away from the house and extinguished the fire using a garden hose.
Liz Groom, Chair of Cambridgeshire Police Federation, said: “PCs Moore and Stoppard conducted themselves with the utmost bravery and professionalism. Throughout the incident they were aware that even the smallest spark could have ignited the entire house and endangered lives.”.
Stephen Mann, CEO of Police Mutual, said: “Police Mutual is very proud to be supporting the Police Bravery Awards for the ninth consecutive year. I am always astounded by police officers’ acts of bravery and my colleagues and I continue to be inspired by their dedication. They are a true inspiration and I feel privileged and humbled to be part of the Awards again.”.
The man was arrested for arson with intent but eventually charged with a public order offence and given a 12-month community order and supervision and restraining order against the victims.