PC Toft and PC Snowden nominated for the 2021 Police Bravery Award
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The Police Bravery Awards recognise officers who have put the safety of others before themselves, from forces up and down the country.
The 2021 Police Bravery Awards will be held on 9 December in London, and the ceremony will be a celebration to recognise the dedication of every officer nominated, in the presence of senior officials in government and policing.
Two of our own officers have been nominated for an award; PC Simon Toft and PC Alicia Snowden, following an armed robbery they responded to earlier this year.
Here is their story:
In March 2021, PC Simon Toft and PC Alicia Snowden attended a call from a pharmacy in Woodley following reports of an armed robbery in progress.
A man had entered the premises in possession of a hammer, and was threatening staff with a knife. A further call was received that the man had left the pharmacy and had assaulted a member of the public.
Further calls were then received that the same man was now inside Woodley Medical Centre, in possession of an axe and several kitchen knives. He was threatening to stab staff and had also thrown a chair through the window of the surgery.
PC Toft had no time to brief PC Snowden, who had just finished her first five weeks of tutor phase training with PC Toft. Instead, PC Toft instructed PC Snowden to be on full guard of her surroundings, keep herself, the public and PC Toft safe and to do what she had been trained to do as they rushed to the scene.
Upon seeing PC Toft, the man walked towards him calmly, holding a metal bar with a heavy metal base attached to it. The man lunged at PC Toft to throw the metal bar.
PC Toft quickly responded with his Taser, but due to the thickness of the man’s clothing, one of the probes did not make contact with his skin. The man ripped out the wires of the Taser and went to grab the metal pole again.
Without hesitation, PC Snowden ran towards the male and kicked the pole and base out of the way while continuing to shout instructions to him. The male was Tasered several times, as he was still reaching for knives that had fallen out of his pocket and was also trying to grab a meat cleaver that was in his backpack.
Eventually, PC Snowden was able to put handcuffs on the man, while still giving him firm and clear instructions. PC Snowden arrested the man and further patrols attended to assist.
Greater Manchester Police Federation Chair Stu Berry said: “This was a real team effort, which enabled the quick arrest of the subject and ensured no further injuries.
“This was a dangerous, dynamic and escalating situation and for Alicia in particular it was so soon into her service as a police officer. She deserves high praise for how she handled her self and her actions that day. As does Simon – for both his outstanding police work and how he cared and guided his colleague.
“We are very proud of them and they are worthy nominees.”