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Officer recognised for quick-thinking action leading to the arrest of a knife-wielding man

An acting Police Sergeant from Avon and Somerset Police has been awarded with a Crown Court Commendation for his exemplary actions in identifying a dangerous man carrying a knife.

A/PS Shaf Zahoor was on duty on 17 August 2019, and returning to the station after patrolling a Bristol City VS Queens Park Rangers football match, when he noticed a male walking towards two people reaching for something in his waistband. After being chased down by A/PS Zahoor and two colleagues, the individual was found to be carrying a large knife.

A/PS Shaf Zahoor comments: “It had been a really long day and we were all exhausted. But, as we were driving back to the station I saw a man walking towards two other people who were slowly walking backwards. He was reaching into his waistband, and while I couldn’t see a weapon straightaway, I instinctively knew something wasn’t right. I shouted out for the vehicle we were travelling in to be stopped and we all jumped out to ask the individual to stop what he was doing. The suspect started to run away from us and we made chase. Just as we caught up to him to apprehend him, he threw a large knife into a bush.

“I’m delighted and really honoured to have been awarded with the Crown Court Commendation. I’m even more pleased that we were able to work as a team, to identify this dangerous individual and to get one more dangerous weapon off the streets, making our community a little safer for everyone.

“While on this occasion we were able to take advantage of being in the right place at the right time, our local police teams are working hard every day to in their communities, acting on intelligence to arrest violent criminals and take weapons off the streets, as well as working with young people to educate them on the dangers of carrying a knife.”

The Crown Court Commendation award is the result of a nomination made by a Crown Court Judge who recognises outstanding work by a police officer or member of staff.

The judge commended A/PS Zahoor saying: “In the age of ever more technology led policing it is important that traditional policing methods should not be overlooked. The sharp eyes and quick thinking of A/PS Zahoor were of outstanding importance in the prevention and detection of crime”.