Two Merseyside police constables have been nominated for regional and national awards for police bravery.
The Police Federation Bravery Awards, which this year will mark their 24th anniversary, are presented annually to honour police officers who have performed outstanding acts of bravery while on or off duty.
Officers from forces across the UK are nominated and the ceremony will see eight regional winners presented with awards, before the overall winner is revealed.
Merseyside Police has nominated two officers following an incredible act of bravery in 2017.
Constables Stuart Bratherton and Mark Patterson were on uniform patrol on Wednesday, 27 September, when they responded to reports of a man brandishing a firearm and threatening a member of the public in West Kirby.
They saw the man’s car leaving the scene and pursued the vehicle, whilst providing a running commentary to the control room so firearms officers could also attend.
The vehicle came to an abrupt stop in a residential street, so the officers were left with the split-second decision; either wait for armed response or confront the suspect and protect the public from a potential gunman on the street.
The officers approached the suspect’s car, not knowing if he was going to point the gun at them, as he had done to the original victim. Due to their fast thinking and quick reactions they were able to detain him.
The officers searched his vehicle and found a handgun and an improvised explosive device, and the suspect was arrested. Because of the severity of the risk to the public an evacuation was called, and a safety cordon was put in place with the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team requested to attend. They confirmed that the suspect bomb inside the vehicle was a “viable explosive device” and needed a robot to carry out a controlled explosion on the site.
A further search of the suspect’s home found another firearm and several other homemade explosive devices.
Due to the officers acting in such a swift, decisive and brave manner the suspect was stopped and the situation was diffused from a potentially serious threat to life. The defendant was found guilty at Liverpool Crown Court and sentenced to four and a half years in prison.
Merseyside Police Federation chairman Tony Fairclough said: “Constables Bratherton and Patterson showed remarkable courage that day and thankfully a potentially very dangerous individual was put behind bars. I have no doubt that their selflessness and bravery saved lives and to be nominated for an award is the very least they deserve. PC’s Bratherton and Patterson are a credit to the force and a credit to Merseyside and I wish them all the very best at tonight’s ceremony.”
The awards will take place tonight, Thursday, 18 July in London.