Officer in life-threatening Samurai sword stand-off wins national Police Bravery Award

Sergeant Stephen Brown of the Metropolitan Police Service, who tackled and disarmed a man trying to slash him with a Samurai sword, has deservedly won a prestigious national Police Bravery Award.

With only his baton and CS spray to protect himself, and on his own, Sergeant Brown found himself fighting for his life as the man repeatedly swung the sword at his face and neck while ignoring orders to put the weapon down.

When the suspect swung for the officer again, Sergeant Brown discharged CS spray into the man’s face. The officer quickly moved towards his assailant and, while the sword was in the air, struck the man’s arm with his baton three times. On the third hit the man dropped the sword and fell to the floor.

Sergeant Brown immediately jumped on top of the man and was then joined by colleagues in restraining the individual. The offender was still struggling violently before being arrested after the incident, which occurred on Christmas Eve 2012 in north London.

Earlier that evening, the offender had repeatedly stabbed a woman. After he was detained by Sergeant Brown and his colleagues, officers discovered that the bag he was carrying contained an arsenal of weapons.

National Police Bravery Award

For his diligence and skill, Sergeant Brown has won the national Police Bravery Award. He was presented with the trophy at a ceremony held in central London attended by Home Secretary Theresa May, policing minister Mike Penning and Metropolitan Police Service Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe QPM in addition to other dignitaries.

Earlier in the day, Sergeant Brown joined 65 of his colleagues from 31 police forces around the country for a reception at 10 Downing Street hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron and designed to recognise their heroic acts of bravery.

Sergeant Stephen Brown and Home Secretary Theresa May

Sergeant Stephen Brown and Home Secretary Theresa May

Home Secretary Theresa May said: “The actions of Sergeant Stephen Brown are a powerful reminder of the commitment and courage that police officers bring to their role. Sergeant Brown put his own life in danger to defuse a terrifying situation. His intervention protected members of the public and may well have saved the lives of others. We should reflect on the bravery shown by all the officers nominated and that displayed by all police officers in the course of their duties each day.”

Speaking about the prestigious award, Sergeant Brown commented: “I feel overwhelmed. Other people deserve it more and I feel very honoured to have won this award. I would do exactly the same thing again and it’s what every officer would have done in that situation.”

He continued: “The man needed to be tackled there and then. The woman he had attacked was innocent and unknown to him. He needed to be stopped. This is what we do as police officers. People call it brave but it’s just part of the job.”

Steve White, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “I’m constantly humbled and amazed by the selfless acts of bravery carried out by police officers on a day-to-day basis. For every act of courage and bravery recognised in the national Police Bravery Awards there are hundreds more occurring in our communities every day that go unrecognised. Each nominee is a credit to the police service and to the community they serve.”

Stephen Mann, CEO at Police Mutual, stated: “Every day, police officers across the country face incredibly difficult and dangerous situations and act with real heroism to protect the lives of others. All of the officers nominated for an award have shown great dedication to their duty and remarkable courage.”

Mann concluded: “Police Mutual is honoured to continue its sponsorship of the national Police Bravery Awards for the sixth consecutive year, and we give our sincere thanks to the men and women who keep us all safe.”

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