A Dorset Police Officer who has been put forward for the National Police Bravery Awards has been speaking to the media about the harrowing incident which led to her nomination.
PC Roz Fricker single-handedly tackled a violent man who swung a heavy metal mallet at her and was carrying several large knives.
She was was a probationary officer at the time of the incident in April 2018, and was responding to a call of a serious disturbance in a block of flats when the man emerged and started to threaten her with the hammer.
As she tried to calm him down, he got nearer and nearer before lashing out at her and striking her a sickening blow to her shoulder, despite her deploying her PAVA spray.
Despite being in intense pain, PC Fricker and colleagues who had arrived on the scene tracked the man down after he fled and made the arrest.
Her bravery has been recognised through the annual National Police Bravery Awards, which will now be celebrated next year due to COVID-19.
“The incident has stayed with me and will never leave,” she said.
“It’s one of those things you try and forget but you’ll go to another job or there’ll be another reminder. It’s the job we do and we face it every day.”
The courageous officer was a probationer at the time and had only been on the streets for a year when the incident took place.
She had to use all the skills she had just learnt to try and calm the man down and crucially stop him from harming members of the public.
“He clearly wasn’t happy to see me at all and things very quickly got quite critical,” she said.
“He was swinging around this metal mallet and I later discovered he was also holding a kitchen knife and had quite a few other knives on him.
“I tried to clam him down as much as I could, but he was adamant about doing me some serious harm.
“I was also conscious we were in a residential area and that people were around and that he could seriously hurt someone. There was lots to deal with in a short space of time.”
PC Fricker was away from the frontline for five months as she recovered from the ordeal.
“It wasn’t an option not to tackle him,” she said.
“It’s the job we do and we are faced with it more and more – I couldn’t run away and hide; I had to my best to control him and make sure he didn’t hurt me more seriously or hurt others.
“It’s probably taken me two years to fully recover and recuperating was challenging. But it’s my life and it’s a job I always wanted to get back to.”
The Police Federation of England and Wales is determined to highlight the fantastic work of all the National Police Bravery award nominees online despite the 2020 event – the 25th National Police Bravery Awards – having to be postponed.
Instead, the nominees will attend a prestigious daytime reception and evening awards ceremony in London in July 2021.
In total, ninety-four officers from 42 forces across England and Wales are being recognised for the dedication and heroism they have shown in dangerous and extreme circumstances