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Two Northumbria Police officers WIN big at national Police Bravery Awards

18th July 2018

Two Northumbria Police officers have been recognised for their bravery after winning the North East regional award at the national Police Bravery Awards.

In February 2016, PC Gary Sharpe and PC Vicki Threadgold were called out to a domestic violence incident in the Springwell area of Gateshead where a woman had been assaulted.

PC Threadgold removed the female victim from danger who was very emotional and vulnerable at the time.

Both officers were then confronted by her drunk and aggressive partner who was threatening them from behind a child safety gate at the top of the stairs.

The offender – who was known to have a history of violence – encouraged his two Staffordshire bull terriers and a German shepherd to attack the officers.

He then brandished a large samurai sword but PC Sharpe was able to stay calm and eventually persuaded him to put it down.                              

The man dropped the weapon but suddenly produced what appeared to be a black metal handgun which he pointed at PC Sharpe’s face.

With quick thinking, PC Sharpe was able to pull his CS spray before he successfully disarmed and restrained the violent man while PC Threadgold came to his aid.

The offender was eventually jailed for a year after being convicted of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear or violence in June of last year.

Their heroic actions were recognised by the Police federation who nominated them in the North East category of their annual Police Bravery Awards in London.

And they were stunned when they attended the glamorous awards ceremony last night – and WON the regional award for bravery.

Following the ceremony, PC Sharpe said: “I am ecstatic that me and Vicki won the award tonight. We were just doing our job at the end of the day – and it was an honour to even just be nominated. When you’re dealing with something like that, the adrenaline does kick in. But I know that the incredible people I work with would have done the same thing if they were in my shoes.”

PC Threadgold said: “I can’t believe we were the winners tonight. I am proud knowing that we were able to get the woman out of a very dangerous situation before things escalated any further.”

Northumbria Police Chief Constable Winton Keenen, who also attended the awards, said:“I am incredibly proud of our winning PCs, Gary and Vicki, who showed tremendous courage when dealing with such a dangerous and unpredictable incident.

“I’d like to congratulate them both – they’re a credit to our Force and thoroughly deserved to be recognised for their outstanding police work.”

Dame Vera Baird QC, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Gary and Vicki have once again shown why Northumbria Police officers are the very best.

“I’m very proud of Gary and Vicki’s bravery – their bravery and actions went above and beyond and they put their own lives at risk, without hesitation. 

“Everyone is rightly proud of them and I just want to say a huge congratulations and thank you to them both.”

Calum Macleod, Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “The courage and professionalism shown by PC Sharpe and PC Threadgold went above and beyond the normal call of duty. They showed exceptional bravery, and thoroughly deserve to win this award. Thank you for your dedication to helping to keep the public safe”.

Stephen Mann, CEO of Police Mutual, said: “Over the last 10 years, Police Mutual has been proud to have sponsored such an inspirational event in the policing calendar and for my colleagues and I to be able to show our respect for the exceptional courage shown by police officers who risk their lives every day to protect the public and keep us safe”.