Cambridgeshire police officers win bravery award after restraining man wielding knife, shears, saw and garden fork

PC Pete Moulton and PC Janine Hagger with Stephen Mann, chief executive of the Police Mutual
PC Pete Moulton and PC Janine Hagger with Stephen Mann, chief executive of the Police Mutual

Brave police officers who restrained a man wielding a knife, shears, a saw and a garden fork have won a prestigious award at a ceremony attended by senior figures from the government.

The incredible scenario in the town of March late last year saw PCs Janine Hagger and Pete Moulton both attacked and cut by a Stanley knife, while PC Hagger was also punched in the face and PC Moulton bitten on his left arm.

The 21-year-old assailant they were attacked by also held a saw to throat of another man which scratched and cut him.

In the end it took a team of officers - including firearms officers - to contain the individual after a lengthy struggle.

PC Hagger and PC Moulton were rewarded for their efforts by winning the eastern region Police Bravery Award at a ceremony in central London.

On receiving the award PC Hagger said: “I am really shocked. I wasn’t expecting it and to come top of the region is just huge.”

The award nomination follows the incident at a house in March in November 2014 which the officers attended following a call from the ambulance service.

PC Hagger and PC Moulton were alerted to a 21-year-old man, believed to be in possession of a bladed weapon. The officers immediately spotted the man, who they believed to be suffering from mental health issues, but he then ran off.

The officers pursued him into a garden where it became clear he was carrying a Stanley knife.

In an attempt to calm the situation the officers sprayed him with Pava but to no avail.

PC Hagger held a shield up to stop the man using the knife against her. PC Moulton then helped her to stop the man from

harming others or himself. The man managed to grab a baton from one of the officers as he headed for the property’s back

door.

As the officers again attempted to stop the man, he slashed at PC Moulton, who suffered a 6cm laceration across his neck.

The knifeman then attempted to slash, stab and hit the officers. During the struggle, PC Moulton was also bitten three times on his left arm.

PC Hagger was punched in the face and received a laceration to her left little finger and ring finger from the same Stanley knife as she tried to disarm the man.

The assailant then grabbed a garden fork and threatened the officers with it. He then kicked PC Hagger in the stomach and punched her twice more on the head, causing her to almost black out as she tried to assist PC Moulton in pulling the fork away.

Another officer arrived and they tried to keep the man in the garden while they waited for further back-up, fearful of him

escaping and hurting others.

The man then ran at the officers with a handsaw and shears he had grabbed from a garden shed.

Officers quickly evacuated the people in the next door house and children from the play park nearby, fearful of what he might do next.

The assailant then went into a nearby residential property and held a saw to the throat of the male occupant which scratched and cut him.

Firearms officers arrived and the man was challenged but, despite officers using Taser on him, he broke free and ran into the street.

Officers used Taser and Pava again but they were only able to overcome and control him when many more officers arrived.

The man was unusually strong and was finally subdued under sedation later at hospital.

Oz Merrygold, secretary of the Cambridgeshire Police Federation, said: “This was a particularly violent incident in which a man had quite incredible strength and overcame spray, batons and two officers.

“Every crime involving a weapon is potentially lethal and both of these brave officers put their own lives on the line to disarm this man.

“Their actions in clearing children from a play area showed speed of thought and professionalism and their courage reminds of the difficult work officers do 24/7 day in and day out.”

Stephen Mann, CEO, Police Mutual, said: “This incident is another example of the real dangers faced by officers across the country.

“Police Mutual is honoured to sponsor the Police Bravery Awards and congratulate the officers who have shown tremendous dedication and committment to their role in protecting others, with little thought for their own safety. We thank you wholeheartedly for keeping us safe.”