Heroic PCSO who disarmed axe-wielding woman at Wisbech Hospital to receive bravery award tomorrow
- Credit: Archant
A PCSO who tackled and disarmed an axe-wielding woman in Wisbech will receive an award for bravery at a ceremony tomorrow.
PCSO Lisa Mann will receive a silver medal at the National Police Public Bravery Awards.
She and her colleague PCSO Luke Cornwell were called to a suspicious incident on August 28 last year involving people reportedly on the roof of Wisbech District Hospital.
On arrival they discovered a doctor had been assaulted. While they were searching the premises one of the suspects returned with an axe.
Despite having no baton or incapacitant spray, PCSO Mann tackled the woman, disarming her and restraining her on the floor.
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PCSO Cornwell, who is now training to be a Pc, arrived to help and restrained the suspect until officers arrived to make the arrest.
PCSO Mann said the incident was initially reported as a rowdy nuisance and had no idea she would be confronted by an armed person.
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She said: “It was only when we got there that we learned there had been a burglary and an assault.
“When I saw the woman had an axe I just knew I had to stop her from getting into the hospital because she was saying she wanted to kill the doctor.
“I grabbed hold of her, we had a scuffle and I managed to kick the axe away and restrain her. At the time the adrenaline just kicked in but afterwards, on reflection, I thought about what could have happened and lots of things went through my head but it all worked out fine in the end and I’d do the same again if the situation called for it.”
The nomination for the award stated: “It is the opinion of the police officer that had the offender not been disarmed she would have gone on to attack the doctor in the hospital – she had been making numerous threats to kill despite being restrained in cuffs on the floor.
“This was truly exceptional and brave work by the PCSOs. They used their training to full effect in a safe and proportionate manner.”
PCSO Cornwell was awarded a Certificate of Commendation for his role.
The woman, now aged 20, pleaded guilty to a number of offences at Cambridge Crown Court last November, including burglary, assaulting a police officer, public order offences and racially aggravated harassment.
She was sentenced to 14 months in prison, with credit for time spent in custody, and given a restraining order for five years.
Fenland sector inspector Robin Sissons said: “The incident Lisa was faced with was well beyond what we would expect a PCSO to deal with.
“It is for this reason that we are really proud of the way she acted. To tackle, disarm and restrain an offender with an axe whilst not having incapacitant spray, baton or Taser showed great courage.
“It was for this reason that we nominated her and I am over the moon that the panel agreed with us. It is well deserved.”
Lisa will join 56 other nominees from across 23 forces in with a chance of receiving the Binney medal, which will be awarded to the nomination that stands out as exceptional above the other winners.
The award is considered annually by a selection committee. Nominations are submitted by chief police officers in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.
In order to qualify for the award the nominee must be a member of the public – including children – a member of police staff including PCSOs or an on duty member of any armed force or emergency service with the exception of police officers.
Awards can also be given to security guards or investigators.