Officers who tackled suspected suicide bomber nominated for bravery awards


Two police officers who restrained a suspected suicide bomber are among more than 70 of their colleagues who have been nominated for Police Bravery Awards.

Acting Sergeant Adam Lambert and PC Derek Burgess were on duty when a call came in to say a female carrying a rucksack had been overheard saying she was going to kill everybody in The Mall in Luton, Bedfordshire.

The quick-thinking pair quickly moved in and restrained her without considering their own safety. A search later revealed she had no weapons or devices on her.

The officers are among 71 to be nominated for the 22nd Police Bravery Awards, which take place in London next month.

The awards honour and recognise police officers who have performed outstanding acts of bravery while on or off duty, and is hosted by the Police Federation of England and Wales.

Others to be recognised include two Bristol-based officers who put their own lives at risk to stop a suicidal man jumping from a cliff.

PCs Thomas Green and Timothy Middleton, of Avon and Somerset Police, wrestled the man on top of a 300ft cliff, stopping him from falling over the edge but almost doing so themselves.

A Gloucestershire Police officer also prevented a woman from killing herself by setting fire to herself. PC Melanie Earnshaw was on her first day in a new patch when she was called to an incident concerning a woman who had called the suicide helpline.

The woman doused herself and PC Earnshaw in lighter fluid as the officer tried to wrestle it from her. The female then took a lighter and was about to ignite it, but despite being significantly smaller in stature, PC Earnshaw was able to retrieve the lighter from her.

The woman then attempted to barricade herself in her bedroom, but the quick-thinking PC prevented her by using herself as a doorstop, causing bruising from the top of her shoulder down to her elbow.

Other heroic deeds to be recognised include a Dyfed Powys Police officer who rescued a 10-year-old boy from a strong current in the River Wye, a Greater Manchester Police officer who tackled and arrested a gun-wielding man and two Devon and Cornwall Police officers who rushed to the scene after reports of a man threatening his father with knives, a chainsaw and an axe.

The awards celebrate officers from 40 forces in England and Wales, with eight regional winners named on the night and one of the eight being named overall winner for 2017.

Police Federation chairman Steve White said: "It is an honour to be able to recognise these incredibly brave officers and thank them for their efforts. They all exemplify the very best in British policing, putting their own lives at risk, in their commitment to protect the public.

"Every year I am blown away by the calibre of the nominees, and this year is no exception. Of course, the nominees we will recognise at the 22nd Police Bravery Awards are only the tip of the iceberg; many more officers are performing acts of bravery every day as a matter of course, as part of their jobs. Each nominee is a credit to the police service and to the community they serve."

Stephen Mann, chief executive of Police Mutual, said: "Police Mutual is very proud to be supporting the Police Bravery Awards for the ninth consecutive year. I am always astounded by police officers' acts of bravery and my colleagues and I continue to be inspired by their dedication. They are a true inspiration and I feel privileged and humbled to be part of the Awards again."