Episode 4 Britain's Bravest Cops

Episode 4

Series looking at some of Britain's most courageous police officers, with reconstructions of extraordinary acts of heroism, and footage from police units up and down the country.

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in the midst of a stop and search, then a gun is pulled, and suddenly,


your life is in danger. Every year, Britain's bravest cops are honoured


for the risks they take to keep us safe. Today, we hear their stories


and join them on the streets as they continue to crack down on


crime. This is Britain's Bravest Last year, there were over 18,000


assaults on police officers, most of them just ordinary cops who


didn't think twice about risking their own lives to protect the


public and fight crime. In the week that Britain's most heroic officers


are celebrated through the Police Federation's Bravery Awards, here


are some of their stories. Coming up, we re-tell the moment


when two courageous officers struggled through searing heat and


a choking smoke to help a mother and baby trapped in a flat fire.


couldn't breathe, the thoughts going through my head at that time


were, if she doesn't answer the door, there's a possibility I may


pass out at this point. We are on the streets of Aberdeen with an


elite police dog unit tackling the most high risk call-outs.


And we follow Northamptonshire and Manchester police as they continue


their battle against Britain's rising drug problem.


But first, how one brave cop's quick-thinking stopped a vicious


pair of robbers. Early one December morning in 2007,


newly-trained dog handler PC Katie Jones was all set for her regular


shift in her home town of Preston. She was due to spend the day


training with her supervisor, Sergeant Ian Tinsley. I was on my


third day out as an operational police dog handler. I was really


excited to be out, as we hadn't had what we call a dog incident where


we're going to use the dog to search for offenders. It would have


been roughly possibly about 8:20am, 8:30am when we picked up a


transmission over the police radio in respect of they believed that


there was intruders at the Hospital Inside the Hospital Inn, chef


Anthony Gornall and his partner, the pub's landlady, Alison Morse,


were being terrorised by armed robbers.


I heard them walking upstairs and going into different rooms. What is


So I said to Alison, get under the bed. I just heard them open the


door and so I started walking towards the door. This guy just


filled the door. Here he is!


And he said, right, come with me. Where's the money?


The masked man was violent well- known criminal Wayne McDonald. He


was with his sidekick, David Tyrell. So he took me in the corridor, the


other guy handed him his pistol, then he pistol-whipped me down the


corridor on my head. So I got my keys, opened the safe. I think


there was about �2,000, �3,000 in notes in there. They got the shot


gun out. He just said, if you've any more money, you'd better tell


me now or I'll blow your head off. So I said, there's no more money,


and if there is, I don't know where it is. He turned the gun round and


smashed my face. That's when Tyrell bent down to me and said, you'd


better do as you're told, because he will kill you.


As this horror was unfolding, PC Katie Jones had arrived outside the


pub, oblivious to what was going on inside.


As I headed towards the main entrance, I overheard somebody on


the radio say that they could see At that time, I heard the main door


rattle. So I automatically turned round with my dog, Chaos, at the


side of me. Don't move!


I was faced with a very large masked male pointing a shotgun at


his shoulder height straight towards me.


Get out of the way now! Katie's life was on the line, but


she stood her ground and challenged McDonald.


Drop the gun! I shouted at him to drop what he


was holding. I'm warning you, I'll shoot you!


At the same time, he shouted at me When I heard the shot and a


helicopter in the background, I thought he was going back upstairs.


Because there was police there. And that's the last thing he said to me,


if there's any police out there, I'm coming back up here and I'm


going to shoot you. When I was shot, it was


excruciating pain. I felt like I'd been hit with a red-hot poker at


150 miles per hour. The whole leg went numb. I just kept thinking to


myself, don't look down, don't look down, because if I see a gaping


hole in my leg, I'm going to pass out here and now. You know, I did


think, this is it, my life's over with. You know, I'm going to die


here, that's it had. And your life does kind of flash before you. And


albeit it happened in a millisecond, everything did kind of come to me


all at once. You know, my family, my friends, complete fear set in


really. I was petrified I was going to lose my leg, frightened of what


it was going to mean, if I was ever going to be able to walk again, was


I ever going to be able to do my job again?


But her ordeal wasn't over yet. McDonald was still on the loose.


I was then aware that I had to get away from where I was. I had to


kind of flee from the scene, because I was so frightened of him


coming back out to try and do what he'd just done again.


Seriously wounded, Katie mustered up the strength to get herself away


It was obvious that she was injured, she was dragging her leg. So


straightaway, my concern was for her. I'd no idea where the offender


was who'd done the shot, I didn't know whether he'd immediately left


the premises, I don't know whether he was still in the premises, so I


was screaming at Katie to take I managed to get myself into a


ditch at the rear of the pub car park, along with Chaos. And then I


was aware of something going on behind me. And all I could hear was


PC Tinsley shouting, armed police, put your gun down!


Suddenly, the two fierce armed robbers were standing at the door.


The offenders, McDonald and Tyrell, appeared from the same direction in


which Katie had come. My initial thoughts at that particular time


were that they were going to shoot her again. I adopted a firearm


stance. I pointed two fingers, probably like kids do playing


Cowboys and Indians, saying that I was an armed police officer, put


the weapon down. On a couple of occasions, McDonald actually raised


his hands above his head in like a surrender type mode. I remember


thinking, I hope he's got bad eyesight, because if he had good


eyesight, he would think, no, he hasn't got a gun.


Sergeant Ian Tinsley had taken a huge and extremely risky gamble.


Put the gun down, put it down now! Thankfully, it did have the desired


effect, because at that point, both of them then dropped the bag and


turned tail and ran. The men fled empty-handed and a


police helicopter was scrambled to track them down. Within half an


hour, McDonald was caught. Tyrell was found 12 hours later hiding


under some tarpaulin near the pub. Katie's bravery had paid off.


During the trial of McDonald and Tyrell, it became clear just how


close PC Katie Jones had come to losing her life.


It was revealed by the firearms expert for the prosecution that had


that gun been aimed one degree more to the left, the main impact would


have been straight through her lower abdomen and more likely to


have killed her instantly. That's scary, it's frightening. To


think that, you know, one degree... That's just a slight movement. And


it does make you realise, it certainly makes me realise, that


yes, all right, I got shot that morning, but I was so, so fortunate


and so, so lucky to come out with just ten pellets in my leg.


Katie has paid a hefty price for her bravery, but the staff at the


Hospital Inn are eternally grateful to her.


I think if Katie hadn't had been there and the police and the other


dog handler, I dread to think what would have happened. I don't know.


She's a brave woman, very brave. I couldn't have done it, I don't


think. Tyrell got over seven years for his


crimes, while McDonald was jailed for life. Katie's since made a full


recovery and she was honoured with a Police Bravery Award. She's since


returned to the beat with a new dog, Hero, while Chaos is enjoying life


Britain's police are regularly putting their lives on the line. So


having a canine partner can be invaluable. In the oil-rich city of


Aberdeen, 40 year-old police dog handler George Shearer is on the


front line of crime. In the back of his van, two vital police assets. A


general-purpose dog called Sparky and a drugs dog called Sam. Often


working alone, this tough canine unit are called to deal with the


huge variety of dangerous crime in a patch covering hundreds of square


miles. Quite often, I'm first on to the


scene. The presence of the dogs is a wonderful deterrent. People run


off in different directions. So compared to a human, it's a


wonderful deterrent for stopping people. I'd be quite happy to


control 10, 20 people, even if they're agitated. They just won't


come near the dog. That keeps them at a safe distance away from me.


It's 8pm and George has been assigned to provide back-up during


a raid to arrest someone suspected of drug offences. The location has


been under surveillance and the police are worried there may be


dogs on the premises, so George is on standby to protect the officers.


I've been called upon, one - to control the dogs, and secondly - I


have a drugs dog with me and he will be carrying out a search of


that property. Although George normally handles


police dogs, he's often called in when owners' animals might present


a threat. His first priority on the raid will be to locate and secure


the owner's dogs using specialist tools.


This is one of the pieces of equipment that we would use. We


would look to sling this over the dog's head. And this pulls tightly,


and then we can tie that off with the screw part here, and that keeps


the dogs at a safe distance away from my body to prevent any bites


and any contact with me as a person. And once we've got the dog set


aside in a safe area, it's a quick release, a lever here that we would


pull, and that can effectively release the dog. There's a lot of


these types of dogs that are very strong and it does take a fair


amount of effort to keep a dog restrained and at arm's length.


With the officers briefed, a convoy of police officers make their way


to the target's house. George is under no illusion, having worked in


the dog unit for six years. He knows there is a real threat of


injury. There have been incidents where


I've gone to warrants and I've been bitten by dogs within the house.


It's always something that I keep in the back of my mind when I go


into these properties. The police face all kinds of


unexpected threats as they execute warrants and raid properties, and


dogs can be one of the most serious. Last year, Grampian Police were


called in for 36 crimes for failing to keep dogs under control. As well


as dealing with any potentially dangerous dogs, George will also be


assisting fellow officers in the hunt for drugs.


Yes, I've got a specialist dog that's trained to detect drugs, so


once we get into the address and get everybody secured, I'll be


taking out the drugs dog and he'll search the address and hopefully


he'll indicate on some drugs within the property.


The police park away from the suspect's house. They can't risk


alerting the man or his dogs to their presence, which might give


him a chance to dispose of any possible drugs or try and make a


run for it. The element of surprise is critical.


Police! So George is one of the first in.


He must quickly locate and secure the dogs to ensure everyone's


safety. We have gone into the property and


there are two dogs within one room, and I think another two dogs have


appeared from around the back of the property and ran in the front


here. All the dogs seem fine and we've got control in the house now.


The suspect is promptly apprehended and the police begin their search


of the house for drugs. Every potential hiding place is


thoroughly checked, even the most Just a trap that we have found


underneath the house that gives access to the whole area underneath


the house. You can see it is quite indeed entrance, so we will maybe


consider getting a dog in under there. Because it is quite a large


area. It would be a very good hidey hole for drugs.


It is time to bring in Sam the sniffer dog, a four-year-old black


Labrador. Come on. That's a boy. I felt it


was worthwhile in deploying a dog under there. It is a nice safe area


for him to search. He will do that quite quickly.


Nothing doing at all down there other than a bit of mess.


The officers are now carrying out a search by hand on the premises, and


that will take about 30 minutes. the end of that, we will know


In Scotland, the police face a never ending war on drugs, even in


the most remote towns and villages. Aberdeen is no exception. Last year,


Scottish police forces dealt with nearly 40,000 drug offences. PC


George Shearer works a regular ten- hour night shift with his two dogs,


Sparky and Sam. The following night, he gets an update on the house that


was raided the day before. They found a total of �3,000 in


cash, �2,000 of which was concealed in a sock within a dresser. And


there was also a personal amount of cannabis recovered. So it is a


positive result for that one. male was later charged with


possession under the Misuse Of Drugs Act.


Foxtrot five. It is not long into his shift when


a call comes through. George is going to assist officers who are


about to pull over a car. Stopping anyone late at night always carries


a high risk of trouble, and the police suspect the owner of the car


may be involved in criminal activities.


This is a call, there is a unit in behind a car where there is


intelligence on the car that it is involved in the supply of drugs.


The unit just want to stop it. I am just going to assist. There are a


number of people on board, and they might need a drugs dog in any case,


so we are just going along to see By the time George arrives, the two


people in the car, a man and a woman, have been detained. But


there is compelling evidence of drug use. Watch. There is a bag of


needles in there. Right, OK. There are some capped, some uncapped.


Used needles carry a huge risk of harm. But despite the danger,


George must still deploy sound to There was a bag of needles sitting


in the foot well. We always have a check of the area that we are going


to be putting a dog into, a house or a car, we always have a quick


look to make sure there is no dangers for the dog. If a dog was


to get pricked by a needle, the diseases are transferable to the


dog. -- are not transferable. However, the dog could receive


quite significant injuries are to the mouth area and the nose, etc.


We always like to make sure that the area is safe before we put the


We've turned up and we've taken a drugs dog in. He's carried out a


search in the car. He's showing an interest in a number of things,


actually. You could see on the document wallet for the car, there


has clearly been power because up with a knife. -- powder cut up. He


has indicated on that. He has indicated on to bags within the


foot while of the vehicle, which both contain paraphernalia relating


to drugs. And also on a tobacco pouch, looking closer in amongst


the tobacco, there is a small notch of what we suspect to be cannabis


The chap up there, he has clearly admitted ownership of the cannabis


resin. He's been charged on the scene here. He's not been arrested.


He'll just be cautioned and charged with that offence at the locus here.


Grampian police are not only dealing with drug-related crime. In


Scotland, vandalism and anti-social behaviour are big issues for local


communities. Last year, they had to deal with 2000 incidents of damage


to private property in Aberdeen It's the third call of the night.


George and his dogs have been called to a suspected act of


vandalism. George has little to go on except that the men could be


dangerous. Back-up has not arrived yet, so he is on his own. With his


experience and following a quick assessment of the situation, George


starts searching for the suspects in order to stop them making an


Suddenly, he spots one man fitting the description of one of the


suspects. To ensure his safety, he deploys his five-year-old German


shepherd. Sparky is a highly trained police dog, and will


protect George at all costs. And with a bite of 238lbs per square


inch, the suspect won't be making a George and Sparky make a formidable


team. The two of them can do the job of several police officers.


George decides to take the suspect back to the scene of the crime to


meet the other officers. And, with Sparky so close, the suspect has no


It looks like George and Sparky have got their man, and they march


The man is handcuffed and searched. George finds what he suspects to be


ecstasy tablets. What's that? Other officers arrive, and the


suspect is taken away for further The man caught with drugs was also


breaching bail conditions, and should not have been in the area.


He was remanded in custody pending a court appearance.


Absolutely convinced that if the dog had not been present, the guy


would have run away, and I doubt if he would have been caught. He


certainly looked like he was going to do a runner when he first saw us.


So it is a good enough result. You could see as well that the dog was


watching the guy as we walking him back. He was just sending out a


message to the guy, look, don't even think about running away.


Because the dog is here, and he may well chase you. The dog has done


Even with a police dog, it takes a brave officer to patrol the streets


alone in the middle of the night. The last thing you want is to find


yourself in the situation that PC Paul Davies did in 2006. Called to


a robbery at 3am, he suddenly found In the early hours one January


morning, a CCTV operator spotted two men around the back of a


shopping centre in Oxfordshire. picked up a couple of males walking


around picking up dog-ends, acting suspiciously, so we just kept a


camera on them, followed them all After two to three minutes, they


were nowhere to be seen, and an The CCTV operator immediately


dialled 999. First on the scene was Thames Valley police officer PC


Paul Davies. I found that the rear access door


had been forced open. I had a look inside, and couldn't see a great


deal of disturbance, or whether anything was actually missing.


Paul edged his way into the pitch- black store, armed only with a


torch. He heard a noise, and shone a light towards it, revealing a


coin-operated children's ride. And crouched in the front of this


ride was a male, and I can see he was using a screwdriver to try and


force open the cash container of I identified myself to him as a


police officer, at which he jumped to his feet and started rushing to


try and get back out of the store. But as he came rushing towards me,


I grabbed hold of him, and told him that he was under arrest, and we


had quite a struggle, during which he was using the screwdriver to try


In the hands of a desperate man, a screwdriver can easily turn into a


lethal weapon. Paul was in deep trouble.


I could feel it hitting the side of my body armour several times. Had


the blows gone on to my arms or up around my neck and head, then it


would have been a different issue. One well-placed to stab to the neck


or head could have seriously injured Paul, or even killed him.


think once he realised I was going to hold on to him, it got more and


more violent as he got more and more desperate to get away. As Paul


battled with his attacker, he got a very nasty surprise. It was then


that he shouted to the second defender who was within the store,


and at that stage, the second man came rushing back down the store


towards were I was. The man was wielding a chisel, and


The man was wielding a chisel, and The man was wielding a chisel, and


The man was wielding a chisel, and aimed straight for Paul. That has


now almost doubled the odds a little bit, and I thought, I have


got to be a bit careful. I was trying to use the person that I had


already got as a sort of human shield. So we are then still


crashing around in the back of the store. And eventually, we force our


way back out through the rear entrance, and we sort of ended up


in a bit of a bundle out the back. Once outside, Paul and his


attackers were in full view of the CCTV camera. He was very determined


to get them, but as soon as he had one, the other one would physically


put up a fight to get the other one released. But he would always


managed to maintain one of them, which is a lot of determination.


And then the second offender came running back towards me, and he


then started to kick me around the body and around the head, and at


that point, he got hold of my ear and it felt like he was trying to


rip my ear off. And although it was extremely painful, I was determined


at that point that I was going to come out on top, and that this


person wasn't going to get away. But the suspects were equally


determined they weren't going to prison.


This succeeded in overpowering Paul and wrenched themselves free.


I chased after them, and after a short distance I was able to rugby-


tackle the original offender back down to the ground, and the second


defender turned, and I thought he was coming back to again have


another go at attacking me. And it was at that stage, much to my


relief, that I saw my support coming round the corner.


Within seconds, the offenders were handcuffed and under arrest.


You wouldn't throw your life away, but there are times when you would


put your life at risk in order to help save others or to prevent, in


this case to prevent crime. It is part of being a police officer.


For tackling not one but two violent criminals, Paul was


honoured with the police bravery award. And the men, they got their


just deserts. They were both jailed for four years for burglary and


Britain is now the drug capital of Europe, and every day, our cops are


fighting a battle against dangerous drug dealers, particularly those


supplying Class A drugs like We're just going to do a quick stop


search on you. Around 40 tons of cocaine enters Britain every year.


Police estimate there are over In Northamptonshire, officers from


Operation Guardian are coming down hard on drug crime, which is making


life a misery for locals, spawning all kinds of anti-social behaviour


Today, the team is getting ready to raid someone suspected of drug


offences in the local area. Once we go in there, we were just make sure


that all persons are handcuffed, because we don't know, they may


pose a threat, they may not. But just in case, we will secure


everyone in there, handcuff them all. Lovely. Shall we give it five


minutes, and meet downstairs at the van? Yes.


The team of officers make their way to the flat. PC Alexandra Lloyd is


constantly aware of the hidden dangers of the job.


It is always in the back of your mind, and we quite often go in


places where there are used needles. Quite often, the people in the


homes will tell you, but there are occasions when they don't, so we


The team have no trouble getting But there is another at the top of


the stairs. The officer with the But, surprisingly, it's an easy


entry. The suspect has let them in himself. Any ID in the flat at all?


Yes. Just tell us, and I'll get it. In my bedroom. The man is


handcuffed and held in one room while the team search his flat.


Anything that is seized, or if we are going to take anything or seize


anything, then you'll be told what we are taking, OK? But it is easier


for you to stay here so that the officers can search. All right,


mate? If you want to have a read of that, feel free.


What we are looking for is mainly Class B, cannabis or anything that


is linked, or any paraphernalia that can provide information about


lifestyle, as well. And information, intelligence, as well.


The suspect has to watch on helplessly as PC Alexandra Lloyd's


team bag up evidence. Cannabis is commonly used across


the area. We are executing warrants all over the place. You deal with


pockets of people that will be dealing cannabis, and you have got


the people that generally use the cannabis as well, so we deal with


all different sorts. Before long, the search turns up


more than just cannabis. Some drugs there. It is looking like... They


are certainly pills of some description. We have seen pills


around, but not normally in that quantity, if I'm honest.


The gentleman will be further arrested for the drug offences, and


they will be seized, along with everything else that we've taken so


far. I'm sure they'll be pleased, the powers that be.


It's another success for Detective Inspector Stuart Hitchin. We do as


much preparation as we can before we go into the warrants. We look at


who the people are and what we are likely to face. We always make sure


that we have the right people and the right resources on hand when we


go through the door, so we are Northamptonshire Police have their


work cut out tackling drug crime, but it's an even greater problem


for Manchester's cops, where cannabis is rife. Last year,


Greater Manchester Police found 877 cannabis farms, the second highest


in the UK. Most of them are set up in people's homes. Today, PC Jamie


Heaton, of the Proactive Unit, is leading a raid on a suspected


cannabis farm in the local area. The information he's got may or may


not be reliable, but he needs to act to find out what the situation


In terms of today's job to execute a search warrant...


The market in cannabis is enormous, worth in excess of �1 billion in


the UK alone. Customers come to the address on a


daily basis and enter the front door. The activities increase


during the evening. The cannabis is grown inside the house, but no


further details are given. The intention is to attend the address


this morning, force entry into the address, detain anyone that's in


there and hopefully find a cannabis farm. All right? Thank you very


much. Although the police are used to


doing it every day, they can never afford to take any chances.


That's a lot of dangers that can happen. People who cultivate


cannabis can make a lot of money and stand to make a great loss when


police attend and uncover or discover the cannabis farm. People


will go to any lengths to evade police capture. We have attended


search warrants before where we found numerous tools or numerous


weapons in the address, some of which have been behind the front


door. That's why we're forcing entry today.


PC Johnson will be the first to enter the house.


Firstly, we're always wary of dogs. They are always an unknown entity.


Unless we get some specific intelligence that they are there,


we are always wary about there being dogs at the address. Also,


any barricades behind there. His job is to secure a swift entry


into the property and, if necessary, he'll smash down the front door


with a 23-kilogram enforcer. I'm more concerned about everybody


else who's here, your team mates. I want to make sure nobody gets hurt


and we'll do whatever's necessary to prevent that happening.


Once the police have enough evidence linking their suspect to


drugs, it's then up to the Proactive team to execute a search.


This specially trained team do this day in day out, so they understand


just how the drug business operates. There's a lot of money to be made


from cultivating cannabis. Somebody that knows what they're doing can


probably get about three to four crops a year. This can make them a


hell of a lot of money. Police officers! Stay where you


are! Sit down, sit down! Two men are handcuffed.


We managed to get both the occupants inside detained without


any fuss. No-one's got any injuries or anything, which is a big plus


for us. Is there anything that you need to


tell us before we start searching? I've got weed in my bedroom what


you'll find. So there's some weed upstairs?


Yeah, there's a bit of weed upstairs. Right, no problem. I'll


tell you straight, you know what I mean? I'm not going to lie to you.


You're not going to be stupid, are you, and start kicking off? No. All


right, no problem. The police start their search and they notice a


strong smell of cannabis. To me, that's more than a spliff, mate.


Yeah. I think he's sealed it, it's been sealed at some point. That's


definite. And it doesn't take long before


they find the personal stash of cannabis in the bedroom.


It smells stronger in there. We've come up to the bedroom that we've


been allocated. Straightaway, I've gone to what he describes as the


skinning-up box concealed in like a strong mints box. It's a small


amount of cannabis, but probably about �20 worth. Sandwich bags as


well, which most people keep them in the kitchen, but he's got them


in the bedroom. Sandwich bags, that suggests to me dealing. The


sandwich bags we were telling you about.


It raises more suspicions for the officers.


Three bags in there. 10 bags, �10 each. It's a shame there's not more,


but he's obviously opened the bags, so he could have had anything up to


20, 20 bags in there or anything, so we'll deal with him for that in


a minute. PCs Heaton and Cooper continue to


look for more drugs. PC Johnson is downstairs questioning the suspect


about the bags of cannabis found in the bedroom.


That's me smoke... Why didn't you tell us about it? I forgot about it.


You don't forget about where your weed is though. Yeah, you don't


forget where you drugs are. I bet when you wanted a spliff, you


remembered where it was, didn't you? Nah. Right, well, if there's


any more, tell us. I swear now, mate, you don't need to, there's no


more weed. The loft is usually a good hiding


place for drugs, but these officers have years of experience and know


exactly where to search. The loft is empty. This time, their


information has been proved wrong. There's no evidence that there's a


cannabis farm here, but the officers do one final check around


the house. There's a box here of teddy bears.


Inside it, that's been an envelope with letters in. And in-between


there, there's been a rock, believed to be. It's probably going


to be crack cocaine. It looks like it's been there quite a while,


because it is quite solid. But it would have to be confirmed by tests


and that. Whilst downstairs, the young


suspect is read his rights. You are under arrest now on


suspicion of possession of cannabis and of suspicion of Class-A drugs.


And you do not have to say anything... Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Anything you do say may be given in evidence, all right? Yeah. The team


have uncovered cannabis and what they suspect to be crack cocaine,


with a combined street value of around �150.


It's not a great find, but enough evidence to take the young man to


the station for further questioning. Even though we didn't find the


actual cannabis farm that we initially came for, cannabis was


recovered from the address. That sends out a positive message to the


local community to indicate that the information that they give to


For Britain's bravest cops, it's not just fighting violent crime


that puts them on the frontline. Sometimes, they're the first


emergency service on the scene. Ready to risk everything to save


lives. In 2009, officers were on routine patrol in Wales when they


came across thick black smoke It was about 10:50pm when PCs


Gareth Evans, Lee Stephens and their colleagues, PCs Matt Andrews,


Thomas Seagrim and Anthony Redwood got to the fire.


It's one of those situations where it will happen so quickly and you


become blinkered and focused on the job in hand.


As soon as we arrived, there was smoke coming out of the windows.


There were six flats all together and there were at least two flats


that were occupied, one of which being a pregnant lady and a young


child. The fire brigade had been called,


but were still minutes away. Gareth was with his partner, Anthony,


nicknamed Redders. Instantly, they knew that if they didn't act fast,


lives would be lost. I ran in.


Anybody here? And straightaway, it was horrific.


You couldn't see anything, you couldn't see your hand held up in


front of your eyes. You couldn't breathe. I ran up the stairs and


when I got to the middle floor, it was evident that it was a lot more


serious than I initially thought. And I knew there was another flight


to go up. Gareth made his way to the top


floor and searched the flat furthest from the stairs.


Anybody in? It's the Police! Nobody was in there, so he quickly


turned to the door of the other flat.


It's the Police! As I knocked the door, at that


point, it really did dawn on me how serious the situation was for the


simple fact that I couldn't breathe. The thoughts going through my head


at that time were, if she doesn't answer the door, there's a


possibility I might pass out at this point.


Meanwhile, down below, officer Lee Stephens was also battling his way


through the smoke to search the flats.


The smoke was already sort of gathering at ceiling height. I've


never experienced smoke like that before. I held my fleece up, I held


that up just to sort of protect my nose and throat.


On the top floor, PC Evans was relieved to discover that the


pregnant woman was still conscious. When she opened the door, there was


panic and distress on her face. was starting to worry me as to how


we got the baby and the mother out. It was sort of a out-of-the-frying-


pan-into-the-fire scenario, because we had to take them through that


staircase that we'd already been through and had already experienced


how bad that actually was. I'll take the baby.


I grabbed the young child that was there with her, I grabbed the


blanket to cover the baby, to stop any unnecessary smoke being


breathed in by him. Hold on tight, follow me!


I put her hand inside my belt, I took the baby downstairs. From top


to middle floor, the lady still had hold of my belt. But then suddenly,


the pregnant woman let go. At that point, I could hear Redders


shouting instructions at her to go downstairs. And I think she


panicked at that point. The mother and baby were safe, but


Lee and Redders were still in the stairwell, surrounded by thick,


toxic smoke. I was the first to try and get down


the communal stairs to get back out of the building. As I made my way


down those stairs, I couldn't see a thing. I used to the wall on my


right-hand side to feel my way down. It was when I reached the bottom of


the stairwell, I went to turn what I thought was the correct way out.


It wasn't, I was met by a brick wall. The disorientation I think


was what frightened me more than the possibility that there was a


fire in the flat near to me. But I didn't know where I was. That


probably was the most frightened I have ever been. I went back up the


steps to catch my breath and then made a second attempt. I managed to


get myself out of the building. We were both coughing, spluttering,


vomiting at the time. I don't know who it was, but we were walked to


the ambulance and given oxygen. As the officers struggled to catch


their breath, the fire brigade arrived. Within minutes, the


billowing fire was under control. We've got a duty to protect life


and property. It's officer's instinct. You just don't think


about it. The police officer's head just switches on and you just deal


with it. You don't think, oh, I need to be brave today. It's just


what we do. That night, the quick thinking and


swift actions of those courageous officers saved at least five


people's lives. They all got the recognition they deserved at this


Next time on Britain's Bravest Cops, we hear how one courageous cop


risked her life to save fellow officers in South London.


This acid was so strong that it had melted through the Met vest, which


is supposed to be made of really strong stuff!


And we join Greater Manchester Police's elite unit in their hunt


for those suspected of cleaning dirty money for the city's


criminals, the money launderers. I think it's this one here, with


As Britain's most courageous police officers are honoured in the Annual Police Federation Bravery Awards, Britain's Bravest Cops tells their stories and highlights the day-to-day bravery of officers on the frontline. Each episode reconstructs extraordinary acts of heroism, and follows police units up and down the country in hazardous operations as they crack down on crime.

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