An off-duty police officer who apprehended two individuals wielding knives and heading towards an organised street brawl has been nominated for the National Police Bravery Awards.
PC Aynsley Ward, while dining with her family on April 28 last year in Shipley, West Yorkshire, spotted two young males walking past, brandishing large kitchen knives. She immediately dialled 999 to report the situation.
Determined to swiftly remove these individuals from the streets, PC Ward followed the suspects and soon found herself face-to-face with one of them. Despite lacking personal protective equipment, she skillfully restrained him and disarmed him of the bladed weapon.
While carrying out this act, the second suspect confronted her. However, the outnumbered officer managed to promptly detain him with the help of a member of the public.
PC Ward confiscated another large knife from their possession and maintained control of the situation until uniformed officers arrived.
If she hadn’t taken these actions, the attending officers would have been significantly outnumbered due to the presence of a volatile crowd, consisting of approximately 15 people who had gathered for the planned altercation.
Instead of returning to her family meal, PC Ward proceeded to the local police station, where she provided a comprehensive statement and uploaded mobile phone footage of the incident.
Craig Nicholls, West Yorkshire Police Federation chair, said: “PC Ward had no personal protective equipment with her as she was off duty, she was outnumbered and took the decision to leave the safety of the restaurant with her family to put herself in harm’s way. This is every bit true heroism and dedication.
“They were armed with two large kitchen knives – she knew this and still put herself in the situation in order to protect the public from danger. Her professionalism and courage are to be commended and she is thoroughly deserving of her nomination.”
Chief Constable John Robins QPM DL, West Yorkshire Police, said: “I am so proud of PC Ward, her actions were nothing short of heroic and truly commendable.
“She put herself in danger whilst off duty to protect other members of the public.
“She is a credit to West Yorkshire and I am proud to have her amongst our ranks protecting and serving our communities on a daily basis.”