Two sergeants risked their own safety to tackle a man armed with a hammer and a firearm who was smashing up vehicles parked at Cambridge police station.

Without any PPE and thoughts for their own health, Sergeant Dan Bramley and Sergeant Nick Ashton-Jones rushed out of the station to challenge the man.

He was attacking the police cars with a hammer in one hand and a firearm, which later turned out to be an imitation, tucked into his belt.

The two officers have now been put forward for the national Police Bravery Awards by Cambridgeshire Police Federation and will be honoured at the awards ceremony in London on Tuesday.

Their Federation chair, Liz Groom, said: “These two officers were at Parkside Police Station when they realised this individual had entered the rear yard and had attacked six marked police cars resulting in smashed windscreens and other damage.

“They were not wearing any PPE as they were not expecting to be immediately deployed but seeing the damage this man was causing and not knowing if anyone was in immediate danger they didn’t have any time to put on any protective kit.

“This police station is immediately opposite a large public space and tourist area called Parker’s Piece and directly next to the station rear yard are residential properties and a public footpath so they feared that members of the public could be put in danger.

“They bravely ran towards danger, risking serious injury or even worse at the hands of this man. At this time, they were unaware that the firearm he was carrying was an imitation. Luckily, they brought the incident to a safe conclusion.”

On seeing the officers approaching, the man swapped the hammer into his other hand and went to pull the firearm from his waist band but lost his grip and dropped it.

PS Bramley approached the man who then threw away the hammer. The brave sergeant, who had 15 years’ service with the Force, tackled him to the ground and was helped by PS Ashton-Jones who had 30 years’ service and has now retired.

The man was released without charge and sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

The annual Police Bravery Awards, sponsored by Police Mutual, honour some of the finest officers in England and Wales who have performed incredible acts of bravery, while on or off duty. 

The ceremony was due to be held in London in July last year but was postponed due to the pandemic. A total of 94 brave officers from forces across England and Wales have been put forward for an award.