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Officers who protected public from man wielding weapons given bravery award

Two Avon and Somerset Police officers, who stopped a violent man armed with a knife and an axe from harming himself and others, have been recognised at this year’s National Police Bravery Awards.

The officers, PC Benjamin Lloyd and PC Jonny Neale, were called to deal with reports of an aggressive armed man who was threatening members of the public in Shirehampton in January last year.

The man had earlier threatened another man with an axe and was in a public street carrying the weapon and a large knife.

When the officers arrived on the scene, the man ran towards them. Remaining calm, the officers managed to keep themselves between the man and members of the public.

At the time of the incident, neither officer had undergone Taser training, so one of the officers deployed his PAVA spray while trying to keep a safe distance. He was able to administer a second dose which enabled the officers to use handcuffs on him and secure the weapons.

The man was later sentenced to 22 months in prison after being convicted of two counts of assaulting an emergency worker, one count of possessing an offensive weapon and one count of possessing a bladed article in a public place.

Chief Constable Sarah Crew said: “We’re extremely proud of the courageous actions carried out by these two officers in what would have been a frightening and fast-moving situation. They had to use all their training to make quick decisions to protect themselves and the members of the public who were nearby.

“They put themselves in harm’s way with the over-riding priority of keeping people safe and I’m delighted they’ve been recognised on a national stage for their bravery.”

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Claire Hiscott added: “It was an absolute privilege to attend this year’s National Police Bravery Awards and a massive well done to PC Benjamin Lloyd and PC Jonny Neale from Avon and Somerset Police.

“In responding to this terrifying incident, they both showed real courage and professionalism, putting the safety of local people first. Thank you to both of these officers for their exceptional work.”

Avon and Somerset Police Federation Chair Mark Loker said the officers’ actions, particularly given that one was so young in service and the other has under three years’ service at the force, were outstanding.

He said: “They showed real courage in dealing with this violent man in what was an ever-evolving and fast-paced incident.

“They had to make quick decisions and deal with the crowd which had gathered. With no Taser training, they had to use the resources they had in the best way to get this volatile man detained.

“I dread to think what might have happened had they not done what they did that day. They were both outstanding.”