A Hampshire Constabulary Police officer who suffered severe injuries as she wrestled with a violent driver has been nominated for the National Police Bravery Awards.
PC Vikki Sharpe will join 70 colleagues from 40 forces across England and Wales at a Downing Street reception on Thursday 14 July before attending a glittering and well-earned awards event at the Dorchester Hotel that night.
PC Sharpe was on duty alone when she stopped a car which was being driven erratically on the M3 near Basingstoke. She requested a breath test from the driver who then became aggressive and started struggling with her for some 15 minutes, with the officer trying to prevent them both being dragged onto the motorway, which could have been fatal.
PC Sharpe tried to handcuff the driver but he resisted so much that only one of his wrists could be cuffed, as the pair of them fought the driver managed to grab his car keys and get back into his car. In the violent struggle PC Sharpe instinctively handcuffed the driver to the steering wheel.
PC Sharpe was leaning into the car attempting to grab the keys, at this time he started the engine and then reverse rammed the police car whilst PC Sharpe was still clinging on to the car. PC Sharpe used her CS Gas and her baton to gain control but this was infective.
As a result PC Sharpe received a broken hand as well as bruising all over her body.
The driver managed to get away but despite the immense pain PC Sharpe was in she managed to get into her damaged police car and took up the pursuit. Fortunately other colleagues took over and PC Sharpe pulled over where she collapsed at the side of the motorway through pain, shock and exhaustion.
As a result of the incident, PC Sharpe spent three months off work and this incident took its toll on her both physically and mentally. She still suffers with back and shoulder pain and her hand has not mended to a level that it was prior to this incident.
John Apter, Chairman of Hampshire Police Federation, said: “PC Sharpe displayed courage, tenacity and commitment to duty in what was a prolonged and sustained attack. Being attacked at the side of a motorway placed the officer in extreme danger, it was only the officer’s bravery, professionalism and luck which prevented this from turning into a tragedy.
“Police officers perform a difficult and dangerous job and it is never acceptable for an officer to be assaulted while working to protect the public.”
Olivia Pinkney, Chief Constable of Hampshire Constabulary, said: “PC Sharpe acted instinctively in what was a violent and dangerous situation, she acted without hesitation and even though badly injured continued to do her job on behalf of the public. I am so proud of Vikki, she is a credit to the Constabulary.”
PC Sharpe also received a Chief Constables Commendation for Bravery and a Crown Court Judge Commendation for Bravery.
This year will be the 21st anniversary of the National Police Bravery Awards, which honours officers who have performed outstanding acts of bravery while on or off duty.
The awards are sponsored by Police Mutual.