Officer saves woman from domestic violence attack

Sergeant Richard Lea, of South Wales, was recognised at the 21st Police Bravery Awards on 14 July.

In December 2014, Richard was called to help a woman in fear of being attacked by her partner. On arrival at the address, Richard found the offender holding a knife to his throat and threatening to stab himself. The offender had a long history of domestic violence, mental health and alcohol problems and was known to police.

The offender threatened Richard saying that if firearms officers attended the scene he would attack them with the knife so they would be left with no option but to shoot him.

Richard engaged the man in conversation and tried to reason with him. A tense period of negotiation then took place, eventually the male released the knife and allowed Richard to escort him into the police vehicle. The officer then escorted the woman to safety.

Steve Trigg, chairman of the South Wales, Police Federation, said: “Richard placed himself at great personal risk in order to detain this man. He was unable to request support from a specialist firearms unit, he showed exceptional courage, placing himself in harm’s way to protect the victim. Despite the risk he faced, he was able to resolve a tense and dangerous situation without harm to anyone.”

The Police Bravery Awards recognise police officers who perform outstanding acts of bravery while on or off duty. They are organised by the Police Federation of England and Wales and took place on 14 July 2016.