Trio of Cheshire officers risk injury to disarm knifeman

While on duty one afternoon, PCs Andrew Lavender, Christopher Fry and Damien John were alerted to a 59-year-old man, wielding a large knife at a local shop in Ellesmere Port. It is believed that he had stolen a packet of knives on display and opened it.

The knifeman then began smashing glass bottles, putting other people in the shop in danger. He then moved large crates to form a barrier that he could hide behind. Each time security staff approached the aisle to observe him, he threw more bottles at them.

The police received a call and were told that there was a man "throwing bottles everywhere" and that they were starting to evacuate the store. Officers arrived shortly afterwards as shop employees were in the process of evacuating customers, but a number were still inside and in danger.

The three officers entered the store and quickly found the knife-wielding man. Fearing for the safety of customers still inside the store, they put themselves at considerable personal risk and approached the offender, who was aggressive and still holding the large kitchen knife.

Between them, the officers used Pava spray, but this had little effect so they used their batons to subdue the man. The man lunged forward and slashed PC Lavender on the hand. Despite being injured, he grabbed one of the large crates from the aisle and used this to disarm the offender by knocking it into his legs, causing him to drop the knife.

This allowed all three officers to take hold of the assailant, handcuff and arrest him. All three officers were recognised in the 2015 Police Bravery Awards. 

Simon Roberts, Chair of Cheshire Police Federation, said: "All three officers demonstrated professionalism and bravery when tackling this violent offender ensuring that he did not have the opportunity to harm members of the public. They deserve praise for the actions, which reminds us that police officers deal with such difficult challenges 24/7, day in and day out."