Brave Menna recognised at national awards ceremony

A Gwent Police officer has been honoured at the national Police Bravery Awards for the courage she showed when she subdued and arrested a knife-wielding thug.

Sergeant Menna Watkins travelled to London for a Downing Street reception with fellow nominees from across England and Wales which was followed by the awards ceremony.

Gwent Police Chief Constable Pam Kelly and Gwent Police Federation workplace rep Danni Threader were also in attendance.

The Downing Street event was hosted by Home Secretary Priti Patel who praised the officers for their “incredible courage”.

Menna (second from left) with the nominees from the other three Welsh forces.

Menna was nominated for the prestigious bravery award after an incident which began to unfold when she responded to reports of  a man being threatened with a knife.

The officer spoke to the alleged victim at the scene and was trying to get more information about the suspect when he charged through the crowd of onlookers and lunged towards her.

She deployed her Taser as he ran towards her and then handcuffed him and waited for back-up to arrive at the scene.

Gwent Police Federation secretary Christopher Back described Menna as a “real credit” to the Force.

He said: “Menna had the professionalism and calmness of mind to hold her ground, draw and discharge her Taser.”

Speaking at the event, Danni said: “Menna is an outstanding police officer and she and all the other nominees here tonight fully deserve special recognition for their courage and determination.

“I am proud to be here with her and she should be very proud of herself for the amazing work she does within her community.”

Ms Patel had earlier told the nominees: “I am delighted to be able to celebrate with you, once again, the incredible courage of a remarkable group of police officers.

“Your work involves an extraordinary degree of sacrifice that should never be taken for granted. These awards play an important part in ensuring your deeds are recognised.

“I would like to thank the organisers of the 2022 awards, the Police Federation, and Police Mutual for their continued support for the event.”

The officers also received warm praise and a message of thanks from Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

He said: “These acts of bravery, honoured here today by your colleagues and the public, are outstanding and in the finest traditions of policing. I salute each and every one of the fantastic nominees at the awards. You are truly the best of the very best.

“It is absolutely right and proper that we honour and celebrate the work of our brave men and women in uniform who work day in and day out to protect the public.

“The progress we are making towards recruiting 20,000 more officers gives me full confidence that together we will make our streets safer. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Police Federation national chair Steve Hartshorn said: “Tonight, we heard extraordinary stories of bravery, selflessness and acts of courage that are not just part of the job.

“The bravery shown by these nominees is truly outstanding. From putting their own lives at risk to save others, facing violent attackers and terrifying weapons, to rescuing people from perilous situations in fast flowing water or stranded hundreds of feet in the air, they have faced danger head on.”

The annual bravery awards are organised by the Police Federation and sponsored by Police Mutual.

This year’s overall winner was Lincolnshire Police’s PC Steven Denniss who was stabbed as he tackled a double murder suspect he has spotted while off duty and out walking his dogs.