A Dorset Police officer who was badly injured as she tackled an aggressive hammer-wielding thug who was threatening members of the public has been nominated for The National Police Bravery Awards.
PC Roz Fricker, who was a probationary officer at the time of the incident, will now join more than 90 colleagues from across England and Wales nominated for their courageous acts at the prestigious Awards Event in London.
It was back in April 2018, when PC Fricker was responding to call of a serious disturbance in a block of flats. When she arrived, everything appeared quiet, and she radioed back to control to let them know.
However, a member of the public then ushered her over and as PC Fricker went over to see what they wanted she suddenly heard a man behind her shouting aggressively and kicking at people’s front doors. She turned to see a tall slim man holding a pole and clearly concealing something behind his back.
He began to march towards her all the while swearing at and threatening the officer. As he got near PC Fricker, the man revealed the hammer behind his back and raised it as if to try and strike her. PC Fricker immediately put her hands up to try and defuse the situation and to speak to the man to try and calm him down.
He was having none of it and refused to put the hammer down, instead swinging it towards the officer.
PC Fricker realised her life, and possibly the life of nearby members of the public were at severe risk and managed to call for assistance before drawing her PAVA spray.
The man didn’t back off and instead goaded her to Taser him, not something PC Fricker had as part of her PPE kit. The man again swung the hammer at her, this time striking a severe blow to her shoulder. Incredibly she managed to deploy her PAVA, but the irritant only served to incense her assailant further.
He was still in an agitated state and started bouncing around before he ran off towards some parked cars which he began to smash up with his hammer.
Despite being in severe pain, PC Fricker followed him and updated colleagues on the radio who by now were close by. After a quick search, PC Fricker and a colleague found the thug cowering behind a parked car and despite his violent attempts to resist detention, the officers managed to get him under control.
As well as the hammer, the officers discovered he was in possession of a metal mallet and a total of seven knives hidden in his clothing, including a blade stashed in an orange foam tennis ball.
PC Fricker suffered a hematoma and a prolapsed disc in the horrific attack and was away from the frontline for five months as she recovered.
The offender attended Crown Court in May 2019, however he was found not guilty due to his mental capacity at the time of the incident.
Dorset Police Federation Chair Anna Harvey said PC Fricker had shown extraordinary courage and professionalism.
“First and foremost, Roz got this violent and extremely aggressive man off the streets, despite suffering severe injury,” Anna said.
“The incident could have quite easily ended in tragedy was it not for our colleague’s bravery and determination to get the job done and her extraordinary care and concern for her community. She did not take a backward step.
“Thank you, Roz. We are very proud of you.”
The National Police Bravery Awards honour officers from across England and Wales who have performed outstanding acts of bravery while on or off duty.
As a nominee, PC Fricker will attend a prestigious daytime reception and evening awards ceremony in London in July 2021. The 2020 event – the 25th National Police Bravery Awards – had been scheduled to take place this past summer but had to be cancelled due to Coronavirus.
Nevertheless the Police Federation of England and Wales wanted to take the opportunity to highlight the fantastic work of all 94 nominees from across the country online from today (September 24).
John Apter, National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “We are incredibly proud of all the nominees from across England and Wales. The actions of these courageous officers provide a small snapshot of the amazing work our colleagues carry out day in and day out.
“Sadly this incident shows the risks officers face on duty. More than 84 police officers are assaulted every day in England and Wales. PC Fricker – despite her injuries – tackled the assailant and kept people safe. The people of Dorset should be very proud of her, as we all are.
“As a Police Federation, we wanted to make sure these brave officers received the recognition they deserve in the year their actions were meant to be celebrated. And we look forward to seeing them all in person – and revealing regional and national winners – when the time is right in 2021.”
The National Police Bravery Awards are sponsored by Police Mutual.
John Perks, Chief Executive Officer of Police Mutual, said: “Police Mutual is, as always, proud to be supporting the National Police Bravery Awards in its 25th anniversary year. Despite having to postpone the original ceremony, the officers’ courage has never been forgotten – they all showed commitment to keeping the public safe in the most demanding of circumstances.
“We very much look forward to meeting all the nominated officers in July 2021 for the ceremony, and our chance to give our thanks in person.”