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Officer commended for his “selfless courage” during armed incident in Staple Hill

Sgt Chris Wright and Chief Constable

A police officer who was confronted by an armed man wielding several knives has been given a Chief Constable’s commendation.

PC Chris Wright was among the first officers on the scene of an incident at a block of flats in Staple Hill on the afternoon of Tuesday 16 June, following reports of a public order incident.

On arrival, he saw a man in a communal walkway and due to concerns for the safety of nearby residents, PC Wright took command of the situation.

He asked his colleagues to ensure residents went back inside their homes to safety and when the man rushed down the stairs to confront officers, armed with three knives, he drew his Taser and tried to engage with him and de-escalate the situation.

Because of the continuing risk posed to officers and the public and the fact the man continued to walk towards him aggressively, PC Wright discharged his Taser and brought the incident to a safe conclusion.

David Wilkie, 41, from Brigstocke Road, Bristol, was arrested and later charged with affray, possession of a bladed article, common assault and criminal damage, for which he was jailed for 12 months at Bristol Crown Court at the end of July.

PC Wright, who has been an officer for 16 years and has since been promoted to Sergeant, said: “In all my years of service, this is the first time I’ve actually thought, ‘I’m in trouble here’ but we are well trained in how to deal with scenarios like this, and thankfully the training kicked in.

“I was worried about my colleagues, as none of them were equipped with Taser and they didn’t have time to flee. I told them to get back into the car but he came down the stairs too quickly. Thankfully the Taser worked and nobody was injured.

“Once it was over it did hit home and it made me reflect on what happened.

“I’m honoured to receive the commendation. It was nice to be recognised but I also want to point out that my colleagues are out there putting themselves in harm’s way every day.”

Chief Constable Andy Marsh said: “This was an incredibly brave officer who put himself in the line of danger to keep the public safe.

“Sgt Wright was calm and measured when faced with a threatening and aggressive armed man and used all of his training and experience to engage with the suspect, before using his Taser when all other options had been exhausted. After the Taser was discharged, he kept talking to the man and made sure he was given the appropriate after-care.

“He fully deserves this commendation which is in recognition of his selfless courage in what was clearly an extremely volatile situation.”