Three officers from Wiltshire Police were rewarded for their bravery last week at the 14th annual Police Bravery Awards ceremony, organised by the Police Federation of England and Wales, in conjunction with The Sun newspaper.
PCs Neil Sampson, Michael Mansell and Ciarian Magee received the South West regional award for the courage they demonstrated when they were attacked on 3 January 2008 by a man, heavily under the influence of drugs, wielding a knife.
After receiving reports of a man brandishing a weapon in the Liden area of Swindon, the officers arrived at the scene and challenged him. The man lunged towards PC Sampson, stabbing him in the head and twice in the leg. He also stabbed police dog, Anya, in the chest. PC Mansell and PC Magee deployed their Taser guns, but the man managed to stab PC Mansell, who fortunately was wearing body armour, several times in the chest area.
PC Mansell redeployed his Taser gun and PC Magee used his baton as Anya continued to keep up the pressure to bring the man down. Eventually the knife was dropped and the man was restrained with handcuffs.
All three, including Anya, made a full recovery from their injuries.
The awards ceremony took place in July at The Dorchester Hotel in London following an afternoon reception at 10 Downing Street where the three officers together with 57 nominees from other forces met the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.
Assistant Chief Constable of Wiltshire, Patrick Geenty, who attended the awards ceremony said: “These officers displayed tremendous courage and skill in the most challenging of circumstances. Their devotion to duty makes them an example to us all and very worthy winners.”
Chairman of the Wiltshire Police Federation, Cath Hollands, said: “I am extremely proud of everything that Wiltshire Police officers do on a daily basis to protect the people of Wiltshire, but the courage shown by these three officers was exceptional. It was a privilege to accompany them to the awards ceremony and I am delighted that their actions have been recognised with this award.”
Pictured, above (l-r): Prime Minister Gordon Brown, PC Neil Sampson, PC Michael Mansell, PC Ciarian Magee, Sarah Brown, Alan Johnson.
Wiltshire Police opens 170th anniversary memorial stained glass window tribute fund for officers and staff who have died in service
Wiltshire Police has opened a tribute fund in its 170th anniversary year to raise money for three stained glass panels dedicated to officers and staff who have died in service or fallen in the line of duty.
A Roll of Honour already exists in reception at police headquarters, Devizes. But the establishment of a memorial window as part of the force’s 170th anniversary will act as a highly visible reminder of the dedication shown by members of the police family and of the sacrifices made in the call of duty.
It is hoped that £1000 will be raised, through voluntary contributions, to fund the three commemorative glass panels, which will be placed within the bay window of the main conference room at police headquarters in Devizes.
Wiltshire Chief Constable Brian Moore has personally donated £100 and other officers and staff have already begun contributing towards the tribute fund.
Mr Moore says: ‘It is very important that we remember all those officers and members of staff who have died in service over the last 170 years. The stained glass panels will commemorate their contribution to policing Wiltshire and be a constant reminder to everyone as they will be placed in a prominent position.’
Mr Chris Hoare, Chairman of the Police Authority, said: “It is important that we recognise the contribution that all these employees have made to Wiltshire Police. I am certain that donations will be forthcoming and that the total required will be raised very quickly.”
If more than £1,000 is raised then it is hoped to add up to three more panels – which cost around £350 each.
Twenty police officers have lost their lives whilst on duty since the force was formed in 1839.
Anyone who wishes to contribute towards the memorial can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Memorial window Tribute Fund, Corporate Communications, Wiltshire Police Headquarters, London Road, Devizes, Wiltshire SN10 2DN.