Off-duty Norfolk police officer honoured for bravery

PC Stuart Watson

PC Stuart Watson - Credit: Archant

An off-duty Norfolk police officer who arrested two weapon-wielding criminals has been nominated for a Police Bravery Award.

PC Stuart Watson

PC Stuart Watson - Credit: Archant

Constable Stuart Watson was on a trip to Tesco at Harford Bridge in Norwich to do his shopping in July 2014 when he noticed a commotion around a car which had stopped in the middle of a nearby road.

He approached to see a man standing by the car wielding a lump hammer, which is a small sledgehammer, and a woman in the front seat.

They were both yelling abuse at a Tesco staff member.

After PC Watson pulled the staff member out of the way to safety, the man swung the hammer at him. The constable dodged the blow, the woman reached out of the car window and hit him on the head with a spanner, leaving him with a severe concussion.

Tesco store.

Tesco store. - Credit: Archant

PC Watson tacked the man to the ground and pulled the hammer away from him. He was then able to arrest the pair. PC Watson also discovered the couple had just been trying to shoplift at the supermarket.

Norfolk Police Federation chairman Eric Bradley praised PC Watson for stepping in and putting his life on the life to get the staff member out of danger. Mr Bradley said: 'It is events like these that show that police officers are never truly 'off-duty'.

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'PC Watson showed true bravery, injecting himself into a violent and dangerous situation, to ensure the safety of other members of the public. It is a pleasure to nominate him for this award, and the recognition he deserves.'

Stephen Mann is the chief executive of Police Mutual, said: 'Our ongoing, long-term commitment to support these awards reflects the incredible respect we have for the work of the police service.'

PC Watson has already received a chief constables' commendation for his actions.