Gwent officers honoured at bravery awards

Six Gwent Police officers were among the nominees honoured at the Police Bravery Awards 2020 in London this week.

PS Richard Shapland, PS Sarah Breakspear and PCs Lloyd Read, Paul Taylor, Craig Bracegirdle and Peter Whittington were nominated for their extraordinary bravery when facing a man who had barricaded himself into his flat armed with a knife and spear.

The event on Tuesday (12 October), which was held by the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) and sponsored by Police Mutual, also included a reception at Downing Street for all the nominees, hosted by Home Secretary Priti Patel. The awards were originally due to be celebrated last July but were postponed due to the pandemic.

Gwent Police Federation chair Steve Thorpe said: "It was my absolute honour to accompany these six brave officers to the ceremony yesterday.

"I’m so glad we could finally hold the 2020 Bravery Awards and give all of the nominees the recognition they deserve. They represent the very best of policing and I’m especially proud of Lloyd, Paul, Sarah, Richard, Craig and Peter."

They were joined at the awards evening by DCC Amanda Blakeman along with Craig’s wife, Rachel; Lloyd’s wife Amanda; Paul’s wife, Jen, and Peter’s wife, Deborah.

A total of 93 nominees from 42 forces were honoured for their exceptional courage in the line of duty, with the overall award being presented to Metropolitan PC Stuart Outten, who managed to subdue a suspect who was attacking him with a machete. PC Outten suffered six deep wounds to his head, skull fractures, and two wounds to his arm as well as multiple finger fractures.

The Welsh regional award was given to PCs Richard Shea and Matthew Reynolds, who tackled an armed man who had forced his way into the home of a woman he had earlier allegedly sexually assaulted.

National Federation chair John Apter said: "We have the finest police officers in the world - dedicated public servants who, without hesitation, put themselves in danger to protect others. They are humble, professional and committed individuals who I am proud to call my colleagues. Police officers are everyday heroes who are anything but ordinary. My congratulations go to PC Stuart Outten and all the Police Bravery Awards nominees. They deserve every bit of recognition they receive."