An off-duty West Yorkshire Police officer who interrupted his weekly shop to arrest a dangerous knife-wielding robber has been nominated for The National Police Bravery Awards.
PC Neil Masheder’s actions – running towards danger despite not being in uniform or having protective equipment – means he will join more than 90 colleagues from across England and Wales nominated for their courageous acts at the July 2021 awards event in London.
The officer was shopping at a supermarket in the Leeds area on 10 September 2019 when he saw a stolen Seat Leon car in the car park.
The car had been taken during a burglary, along with cash, and had been used in two knifepoint robberies of a man and a convenience store in Kirklees. The suspects had also used the vehicle for another burglary, in which they stole two more cars.
During the convenience store robbery, the men had dragged two female shopworkers into the office to demand they open the safe.
During the car thefts, they threatened to stab a woman as they took her car keys and jewellery.
The perpetrators changed the Seat number plate to avoid detection, which had been reported to the police by a member of the public.
PC Masheder saw the Seat parked in a disabled bay with two occupants inside, and rang in the sighting to the control room.
As he did so, he spotted the driver returning to the vehicle and stayed on the call to keep officers abreast of the situation. However the suspects then prepared to leave the car park, prompting PC Masheder to intervene.
PC Masheder had no PPE, but that didn’t stop the courageous officer from preventing the vehicle from leaving and, after a violent struggle, he managed to get the driver under arrest, while his accomplices fled the scene. Thankfully they were soon found and arrested by attending officers.
The three were convicted at Leeds Crown Court in March, but jumped the dock and escaped from the court building.
They were pursued by officers, including PC Masheder, and all were quickly detained.
They were jailed for a total of 52 years for all their crimes in May 2020.
West Yorkshire Police Federation Chair Brian Booth said: “West Yorkshire Police officers are never off-duty and what an incredibly selfless and courageous act.”
Brian described the criminals as “despicable” and said: “If Neil hadn’t bravely intervened on his day off, they would have gone on to carry out a lot more violent crime.”
Date posted: October 23, 2020