Three Northumbria Police officers honoured at Pride of the North East awards

28 Mar 2018 15:00 PM

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Three Northumbria Police officers have been recognised for their bravery - after risking their lives to disarm a gun-toting dangerman.

Sgt Elliott Richardson and PCs Sarah Currie and Michael Otterson were in attendance at the Pride of the North East Awards last night where they won the Emergency Services gong.

The three officers had been on shift in Gateshead in September, 2014, when they answered a call from a community nurse concerned about a patient.

He had a history of violence, schizophrenia and paranoia but the three officers were able to trace him to a to The Eagle pub in Leam Lane.

PC Currie and PC Otterson went to enter the pub to speak to the man when they were confronted by him holding a firearm in the foyer.

Sgt Richardson took quick action to support them and a struggle for the firearm ensued during which the man discharged the weapon inside the tight space.

A brave member of the public also joined in to assist police and eventually the dangerous offender was over-powered and disarmed.

Officers later found two handguns, a crossbow, a pack of throwing knives, home-made petrol bombs, smoke grenades and a baseball bat during a search of his address.

The man was later sentenced to an indefinite hospital order and last year the three officers received a Police Bravery Award for their actions.

And now they have been further recognised at the Pride of the North East Awards after a judging panel awarded them top spot in the Emergency Services category.

Speaking about the award, PC Otterson said he and his colleagues were just doing what any other officer would have done in the same situation.

He said: “It means an awful lot to be recognised by the public we serve. I don’t feel that I did something that any officer serving Northumbria Police wouldn’t have also done.

“I feel proud and especially privileged to serve alongside officers such as those I was with on duty with that day, which is what gives Northumbria its place amongst the best UK policing has to offer.”

Sgt Elliott Richardson added: “I was honoured to have been nominated for this award along with Sarah and Michael and what we faced that day shows what police officers do daily to keep the public safe.”

While PC Currie said: “Without Michael, Elliott and my colleagues the outcome may have been vastly different. The recognition is greatly appreciated for just doing our job and I am very humbled by all the support we have received.”

Chief Constable Winton Keenen also praised the officers following the ceremony and said that they deserve all the accolades they have received since the incident.

He said: "I am delighted that these three officers have been recognised for their bravery once again and they deserve all the accolades bestowed upon them.

"They are a fantastic credit to Northumbria Police and everyone associated with the organisation is extremely proud of them for their outstanding service to their local communities.

"All three of them took swift and decisive action to disarm a dangerous individual. Thankfully, incidents like this are incredibly rare in Northumbria, but such cases serve as a reminder of the dangers faced by all of our officers as they go about protecting the public.”