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Police Officers Nominated for Bravery Awards After Confronting Violent Fans

Police Officers Nominated For Bravery Awards After Confronting Violent Fans

A group of courageous officers from Derbyshire Police has been nominated for the national Police Bravery Awards 2024 for their remarkable composure and professionalism in the face of violent confrontation with hundreds of aggressive football fans armed with various weapons.

Police Officers Nominated For Bravery Awards After Confronting Violent Fans

Inspector Nick Booth, PC Matthew Copestake, PC Rebecca Callan, PC Adam Podam, PC Tammy Careless, PC Christopher Harrold, PC Ryan McGrath, and an anonymous officer have all been recognized for their bravery during the Aston Villa v Legia Warsaw match on November 30, 2023.

Police Officers Nominated For Bravery Awards After Confronting Violent Fans

Derbyshire Police dispatched these officers, alongside others, to assist the East Midlands Police Support Unit (PSU) on mutual aid to West Midlands Police following credible information indicating that Legia Warsaw fans intended to incite mass disorder.

Police Officers Nominated For Bravery Awards After Confronting Violent Fans

The situation quickly escalated into serious disorder, with around 200 fans attacking officers with a variety of weapons and missiles, including drainpipes, branches, glass bottles, marine flares, wheelie bins, and cones. Despite the intense violence, the nominated officers remained calm and performed professionally throughout the ordeal.

Police Officers Nominated For Bravery Awards After Confronting Violent Fans

Their swift and coordinated response prevented the Legia Warsaw fans from breaking through police lines and endangering the safety of the 27,000 Aston Villa fans. The officers’ actions helped maintain public safety and prevented further serious injury or damage to the community.

Police Officers Nominated For Bravery Awards After Confronting Violent Fans

PC Copestake sustained an injury to his hand during the confrontation, requiring hospital treatment, but has since recovered.

Police Officers Nominated For Bravery Awards After Confronting Violent Fans

Derbyshire Police Federation Chair Tony Wetton commended the officers for their bravery in the face of extreme violence, emphasizing the critical role they played in preventing serious harm to the public.

Derbyshire Police Chief Superintendent Steve Wilson highlighted the unprecedented levels of violence directed at the police by a large group of hostile fans, underscoring the bravery and resilience displayed by the officers in managing the disorder.

Chief Inspector Tim Robinson of West Midlands Police also praised the officers’ exceptional response, emphasizing their contribution to maintaining public order and safety during the tumultuous events.

The nomination of these officers for the Police Bravery Awards 2024 reflects their extraordinary courage and dedication to protecting the public, setting a high standard for policing in Derbyshire and beyond.

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