Brave PCSO Lisa Mann said her training automatically kicked in when she tackled a woman wielding an axe and making threats to kill a doctor during an incident at Wisbech’s North Cambs Hospital last year.
The 37 year-old mum-of-three didn’t think twice about disarming the woman aged in her 20s who was in a very agitated state, stopping her from getting through the hospital doors and potentially endangering lives.
Her actions are due to be officially commended next month when she is to receive a public bravery award. Colleague PCSO Luke Cornwell, who also attended the incident on August 20, is due to receive a certificate of commendation. Both have already been presented with a Commendation from the Chief Constable for their actions.
Cambs Police have said they showed “exceptional bravery”.
The two PCSOs went to the hospital following reports of a suspicious incident with people on the roof. A doctor had been assaulted and it was while they were making inquiries the woman appeared.
Said Lisa: “I had come out of the hospital to make some inquiries and Luke had gone to do an area search. I went round the corner and the woman came over on her bike.
“She dropped the bike on the floor and came walking towards me. I could hear shouting and she said she was going to kill the doctor. I went to stop her going through the doors and she put her arm up and I could see she had an axe.
“I just went into automatic pilot and went to disarm her. I knew I had to stop her from getting through the doors. She raised her arm and was waving it about. I grabbed her arm. We had a scuffle and I managed to get the axe and kicked it away. I got her on the floor and sat on her and pressed my emergency button.”
PCSO Cornwell came back and they continued to restrain the woman until help arrived.
“Although she was strong I managed to keep her down. It was afterwards when everything had calmed down I realised what had happened but I was not letting her through those doors, it could have been a lot worse if she had,” said Lisa.
Lisa hopes her actions will show PCSOs in their true light and make the public realise the good work they do.
“It is good for me to be able to fly the flag for PCSOs. We have had a lot a negative press and I want to show the public we are keeping their streets, towns and villages safe.
“I don’t think the public are aware what we actually do,” said Lisa, who has been a PCSO for five years.
“We don’t have the baton, handcuffs or spray. We go into a situation and we try to talk things down but there are some situations where this isn’t going to happen and your training kicks in. You have got to make a situation safe and take control,” she said.
Lisa said her family are very proud and also confident that she can handle difficult situations. Her father, Alan Etherington, is a former traffic officer with Cambs Police, and her brother Gary is a current Detective Inspector.
Cambs Constabulary said: “This was truly exceptional and brave work from the pair of PCSOs. They used their training to full effect, in a safe and proportionate manner.
The offender was charged with numerous offences. Police said more importantly, the safety of the doctor and other members of the public was safe guarded.
Lisa’s presentation is on November 19 at the Hilton Hotel in Northampton.