Officers scoop national Bravery award
19 October 2012
Two officers from the Metropolitan Police Service who arrested three members of an armed gang whilst being shot at have won a national Bravery Award.
PC Alan O'Connor and DC Charmain Brenyah, based in Westminster were on routine patrol when they saw a car being driven suspiciously.
The two officers gave chase and managed to pull the car over. As they got out of their own vehicle during the incident in September 2009 one of the gang shot at them several times. The suspects then sped off but the officers continued to pursue them despite coming under repeated gunfire. The suspects' car then smashed into another police vehicle and two men were arrested at the scene. They were later convicted of a series of cash in transit robberies.
DC Charmain Brenyah, 32, said: "It wasn't until one of the men got out of the car and pointed the gun at me that I realised they were armed. I ducked down and they made off again. We followed and they carried on shooting through the windscreen at us but we were determined to catch them.
"It was a very dangerous situation, we could have been shot and it's something I will never forget. But I'm very proud we got them off the streets. It's great to be nominated for this award, it's the highlight of my career so far."
PC O'Connor added: "We didn't really think about it, instincts and adrenalin just kicked in and we kept chasing them despite the gunfire. We were very lucky not to be hit. It didn't actually sink in until much later. The shooter got seventeen years and the other two were also convicted which was a great result."
Fifty-three officers from across England and Wales who risked their lives in the line of duty were nominated for the Police Federation Bravery Awards.
The event, which is hosted in partnership with The Police Mutual Assurance Society, was attended by the MPS Commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe and the Deputy Commissioner, Craig Mackey.
Two officers who dodged gunfire as they chased a suspect were also nominated. PC Shaun Callow and PC Shona McKay were both out on patrol when they noticed the occupants of a vehicle acting suspiciously. After a chase, a suspect jumped out and ran off. PC Callow followed him on foot but was shot at. Despite the danger, both officers pursued the suspect down an alley way where they found him under a van with a gun in his waistband and a quantity of crack cocaine.
The man was arrested for attempted murder, possession of a firearm and possession of Class A drugs.
An officer who dived into the River Lea to save a suspected drug dealer from drowning was also nominated. PC Gareth Bradley-Jones, based in Hackney, was chasing a man who jumped into the river last year. The man who was wearing a Puffa-style jacket was struggling to stay afloat because of his heavy clothing.
PC Bradley-Jones dived under the surface several times before pulling the man out onto the bank and pumping water out of his lungs. During police interviews afterwards, the man said: "That officer is a hero, he saved my life. My son still has a father."
The 34-year-old added: "I dived under several times until I found him and dragged him to the surface. I'm glad I was able to save him. I'm really proud to be nominated for this bravery award, it's a very good feeling."
PC O'Connor and DC Brenyah won one of eight regional prizes. The overall winner was Hampshire. The winners were announced last night, Thursday 18 October, at a ceremony in Plaisterers Hall, London.
This year is the 17th anniversary of the Police Bravery Awards