Gwent’s national Police Bravery Award nominee Menna Watkins has been reflecting on an “unforgettable” few days spent in London for the ceremony.
Menna was nominated for the calm and courageous way she tackled a knifeman who lunged at her as she investigated reports of a disturbance.
She and her partner Justin Jones, who is also a serving officer on the firearms team with the Force, joined fellow nominees from across England and Wales for the awards event last Thursday (14 July).
The pair travelled to the capital the day before, spending the evening in the West End and taking in a performance of The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's Theatre, which Menna described as “brilliant”.
They made their way to Downing Street the following morning for a special reception hosted by Home Secretary Priti Patel who mingled and chatted with nominees and their guests in the famous garden at Number 10.
Menna said: “For me Downing Street was the best part. It was surreal being in Number 10 and in the garden at the back with drinks and some food. It was amazing.”
She said: “By the time the Home Secretary got to where we were standing we’d been called to have our photographs taken so I never actually got a chance to speak to her.”
An afternoon exploring the sights of the capital by open-top bus was followed by the awards presentation ceremony hosted by television presenter Mark Durden-Smith at a central London hotel.
“The ceremony was fantastic. They managed to keep it light-hearted but at the same time treated it for what it was and that was really good,” she said.
“It was a few days that genuinely I will never forget and Justin said the same. We knew it was going to be good but it was far better than we ever thought it would be.”
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.
The winner of the regional award for Wales was South Wales PC Nathan Davies who risked his life trying to save a couple from a river bed during a raging storm.
Nathan was knocked unconscious during the rescue attempt but crawled on his hands and knees towards the two casualties when he came round and performed CPR on one of them until other officers started to reach the scene.