Sergeants Dan Bramley and Nick Ashton-Jones did not hesitate to act when they saw police cars parked in the rear yard of a Cambridge police station being smashed up.
Even though they did not have any PPE and without a thought for their own safety, they rushed out of the station to tackle a man who had 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.
Their Federation branch 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 any 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 Parkers Peace 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 has 14 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.
This year’s ceremony, which was due to be held in London in July, was postponed due to the pandemic, but will be staged on Thursday 15 July 2021. A total of 94 brave officers from forces across England and Wales have been put forward for an award.
John Perks, chief executive officer of Police Mutual, said: “Police Mutual is, as always, proud to be supporting the National Police Bravery Awards in its 25th anniversary year. Despite having to postpone the original ceremony, your courage was never forgotten and it goes without saying to all of the nominees from 2019 that your commitment to keeping the public safe in the most demanding of circumstances shows unlimited bravery and resilience.
“This is something each and every one of you should be immensely proud of, as I and all of my colleagues at Police Mutual are on a daily basis when we see how hard your roles can be. We very much look forward to meeting you in July 2021 for the ceremony and our chance to give our thanks in person.”
John Apter, national chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “We are incredibly proud of all the nominees from across England and Wales. The actions of these courageous officers provide a small snapshot of the amazing work our colleagues carry out day in and day out.
“When everyone else is running for safety, it is police officers who run towards the danger. PS Dan Bramley and PS Ashton-Jones exemplify this incredible bravery. Without any protective kit, they ran towards a man armed with a hammer and a realistic firearm. They had no way of knowing the firearm wasn’t real – and risked their own safety in order to protect the public and their colleagues.
“As a Police Federation, we wanted to make sure these brave officers receive the recognition they deserve in the year their actions were meant to be celebrated. We look forward to seeing them all in person – and revealing regional and national winners – when the time is right in 2021.”