PC Leanne Payne (pictured) and PC Joseph Konieczny were called to a pub in Surlingham on May 23, 2021, after reports of a man dressed in military-style clothing and armed with what was described as a rifle.
The suspect had gone to the location with an imitation gun, intending to provoke a police shooting because he “wanted to be shot dead.”
“I will come into the pub in a minute, I will be armed,” he told a pub employee.
When the officers arrived at the pub, they were met by a man holding what appeared to be a real weapon. They compared the incident to a “nightmare.”
However, while threatening the officers, the man slipped, giving them time to deploy a non-lethal baton round, which struck him in the leg. The suspect was then arrested and detained by the officers.
The man was charged with numerous offences and sentenced to four years and four months in prison.
The judge said in sentencing the man that he was “clearly intending a fatal action against [the officers],” and that he had created a very serious risk of severe psychological harm to those present, as well as a high risk of his own death.
“What incredible work from Leanne and Joseph,” said Sam Hawkins, Secretary of the Norfolk Police Federation. “We are extremely proud of them.” They feared for their lives because they were convinced this man possessed a real weapon. However, because of their calm professionalism and quick thinking, they were able to disarm and detain him while protecting everyone around them.
“Leanne and Joseph exemplify the best of the police service – they deserve all of the praise and recognition.”
The National Police Bravery Awards recognise officers from across England and Wales who have displayed exceptional bravery while on or off duty.
PC Payne and PC Konieczny will attend an awards ceremony in London in July as nominees. At the ceremony, 77 nominees from 39 forces in England and Wales will be honoured.