Two police officers, based in Grantham, have won bravery awards after tackling robbers, one armed with a pump-action shotgun.
Sergeants David Wilson and Iain McIvor have been named as Region 4 (Eastern) winners at the 22nd National Police Bravery Awards.
The awards, sponsored by Police Mutual, honour and recognise police officers who perform outstanding acts of bravery.
The harrowing events of that night of January 6 last year were partly caught on CCTV which shows the officers confronting the robbers as they try to make their getaway.
The two officers were off duty in Newark and celebrating Sgt McIvor’s promotion, but as they left a pub they heard noise coming from a nearby jeweller’s.
They approached the shop and realised there was an armed robbery in progress. They entered the shop and identified themselves as police officers and as they did so one offender, carrying a pump-action shotgun, came out of the premises towards them pointing the firearm directly at them.
He pumped the barrel, yelling “Get back or I’ll shoot”. He was then swiftly followed out of the shop by others armed with lump hammers.
The officers backed away but still persisted in dealing with the incident, and Sgt McIvor wrestled with the gunman as he attempted to get into a getaway car. As he held on he ended up being dragged down the street by the vehicle as it sped off, before he fell to the ground from the car a short distance away.
After ensuring they were both okay, that the store was secured and the staff in the jeweller’s were safe, the two officers called 999 and waited for the Nottinghamshire Police to take over the scene, looking after the traumatised shop staff until they arrived.
Although confronted with armed men, the officers were able to retain enough information to help lead to the arrest of the offenders. Charges included conspiracy to commit robbery, possession of an imitation firearm with intent and conspiracy to handle stolen goods.
Eleven offenders pleaded guilty at court, and a 12th was found guilty at trial. After receiving their award from Sara Thornton, the head of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, Sgt Wilson said: “I feel so privileged to have won the award and proud of what happened on the night. You feel humbled to listen to the other stories from around the country, so we’re so very proud to win ourselves.”
Sgt McIlvor said: “As harrowing as it is to watch it back, I would do it again – it’s what the police do. It’s been fantastic to be here at the Police Bravery Awards.”
Jon Hassall, Chair of Lincolnshire Police Federation said: “These two officers, who were off-duty, and had zero protective equipment made the heroic decision to act in the face of incredible danger. This is an incredible example of bravery in the finest traditions of the British Police Service. I am so proud of their actions and am thrilled that they have won this award.”
Stephen Mann, CEO of Police Mutual, said: “Every nominee at this year’s awards has shown outstanding courage and thoroughly deserves to be recognised. Your continued bravery helps ensure that millions of people in our country are kept safe, which is perhaps more important than ever given recent events across the world. This is why we proudly continue to support this event.”