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.