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Proud Of Our Regional Winners

West Yorkshire Police colleagues Sergeant Mike Watkins and PC Tom Swift have been named winners of the North East Police Bravery Award at The National Police Bravery Awards.
Sgt Watkins and PC Swift from Leeds District Police were commended for their courage at the Police Federation Bravery Awards ceremony in London on 14 July.

“We are over the moon, but it feels like we don’t really deserve it… We come to do our job at the end of the day,” the pair said.

West Yorkshire Police Federation Chair Brian Booth said: “These officers are the finest example of British policing.”

As we reported in the last issue, on 21 December last year the officers were called to reports that a man was waving a large knife on a passenger-filled bus.

The officers immediately boarded the bus without backup and challenged the male to drop his weapon. On being challenged the male advanced towards them, prompting the officers to deploy Taser, which proved ineffective due to the suspect wearing a heavy coat.

Never leaving the passengers, the officers physically engaged the armed suspect who had refused to drop his weapon and tried to attack them.

The incident that followed saw them use batons and open-hand skills in a melee with the man, which eventually spilled onto the street where they were able to restrain and disarm him.
The man was later sectioned under the Mental Health Act and received treatment.

Chief Constable John Robins QPM DL said: “Tom and Mike richly deserved their nomination for the National Police Bravery Award and we are really pleased for them to be recognised as regional winners.

“Their first instinct was to protect the lives of the passengers on the bus. They showed no concern for their own safety as they attempted to disarm the man in what was a highly dangerous situation.

“The courage they displayed was admirable and resulted in them using their training to secure the suspect, who went on to receive the mental health support he needed.

“Tom and Mike should both be very proud of their actions.”

Date posted: August 16, 2022

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