Thames Valley PCs who disarmed 'gunman' honoured for bravery

Three police officers who disarmed a man aiming a suspected gun directly at them during a "terrifying" arrest have been honoured for their bravery.

The incident in Reading in August 2022 involved a suspect on drugs who became violent towards family members.

PC Tom Blount, PC Oliver Smith and PC Sarah Clark were awarded Thames Valley Police Federation Bravery Awards for their efforts.

The constables will received their awards at a ceremony on Thursday.

At the time, PC Blount and PC Clark were both rookies, having recently become fully qualified.

The three officers were responding to an early morning call from a woman who said her son had become aggressive after drug use.

PC Blount and PC Smith entered the man's bedroom to be confronted by the man pointing what appeared to be a large firearm at PC Blount.

'Acted decisively'

PC Blount said: "I instinctively thought: I'm way too close, I can't get out of here, my only option is to grab the barrel and try and keep it away from my body, so if he manages to pull the trigger, it's going to go off sideways."

During the ensuing struggle between the man and PCs Blount and Smith, the former said keeping the gun barrel away from their bodies was "really tough", until "I felt his arm go limp and I was able to grab the gun out of his hand".

The man was arrested and later convicted of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

Thames Valley Police Federation chair Craig O'Leary said: "Tom and Sarah were new to the job, but showed immense bravery in what must have been terrifying circumstances. As did Oliver.

"They acted decisively and effectively to protect their colleagues and the public."

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