13 October 2021
A Dorset police officer has won the South West regional police bravery award at the National Police Bravery Awards that were held in London last night.
PC Roz Fricker, who was a probationary officer at the time, was badly injured as she tackled an aggressive man who was wielding a hammer and threatening members of the public. She joined more than 90 colleagues across England and Wales who were all nominated for their courageous acts at the prestigious awards event in London.
Chief Constable Scott Chilton, who attended the awards, said: “This incident could quite easily have ended in tragedy if it wasn’t for Roz’s bravery, determination and courage. The awards are a fitting tribute to those officers who have put the safety of others before themselves, and this year, I am delighted that the bravery of one of our own has been recognised. We are all immensely proud of her.
“Every officer recognised in the awards is an inspiration and the event pays tribute to their bravery. The awards are a reminder of the incredible and selfless work police officers do every day to keep our communities safe.”
In April 2018, PC Fricker responded to a call of a serious disturbance in a block of flats. When she arrived, everything appeared quiet, and she radioed back to the Force’s Control room to let them know. However, a member of the public then alerted her to a man behind her shouting aggressively and kicking at people’s front doors.
He began to march towards PC Fricker, swearing and threatening her. As he got closer, the man revealed the hammer behind his back and raised it as if to try and strike her. PC Fricker immediately put her hands up to try and defuse the situation and to speak to the man to try and calm him down. He then swung the hammer towards her, and PC Fricker realised her life, and possibly the life of nearby members of the public, was at risk and she managed to call for assistance before drawing her PAVA spray.
The man didn’t back off and instead goaded her to Taser him. The man once again swung the hammer at her, this time striking a severe blow to her shoulder. Incredibly she managed to deploy her PAVA, but the irritant only served to incense the man further. He then ran towards some parked cars, which he began to smash up with his hammer.
Despite being in severe pain, PC Fricker followed him and updated colleagues on the radio who by now were close by. After a quick search, PC Fricker and a colleague found the man cowering behind a parked car and despite his violent attempts to resist detention, the officers managed to get him under control. As well as the hammer, the officers discovered he was in possession of a metal mallet and a total of seven knives hidden in his clothing, including a blade stashed in a tennis ball.
PC Fricker suffered a number of serious injuries in the horrific attack and was away from the frontline for five months as she recovered. The offender attended Crown Court in May 2019; however, he was found not guilty due to his mental capacity at the time of the incident.
David Sidwick, Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset, who also attended the awards, said: “I was truly humbled and honoured to be at the Police Bravery Awards alongside the Chief Constable. I have to say that when I read the nomination for PC Fricker I was struck by the utterly selfless nature of her actions. What Roz did that day was quite simply remarkable and I can only commend her bravery in the decision she took to pursue her attacker, even after sustaining serious injury to ensure the safety of the public and her colleagues.
“Police and Crime Commissioners are elected to be the voice of the people, and I thank Roz on their behalf for her selfless service that day.”
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