Officers who faced down man with sword get bravery award

Chief Inspector Miles Ockwell, Sergeant Chris Bryant, Sergeant Matthew Songhurst and Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne. Pictures: Sussex Police
Chief Inspector Miles Ockwell, Sergeant Chris Bryant, Sergeant Matthew Songhurst and Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne. Pictures: Sussex Police

Two police officers who took on a man who was brandishing a sword at members of the public have received awards.

Police received reports of a man waving a sword at people on bicycles back in February.

The awards were presented at Arundel Castle

The awards were presented at Arundel Castle

Sergeant Matthew Songhurst and Sergeant Christopher Bryant were sent to the scene.

A spokesman for Sussex Police praised their bravery and said: “The quick-thinking duo put themselves between the suspect and the members of the public.

“The pair were able to calmly diffuse the situation and remove the weapon.

“The man was arrested and given an eight month custodial sentence, suspended for 18 months.”

The pair received Divisional Congratulations for local policing at a ceremony on Monday.

Held at Arundel Castle, the event saw police officers, staff, special constables, volunteers and members of the local community from across West Sussex recognised for their outstanding contribution to policing.

West Sussex Divisional Commander, Chief Superintendent Jerry Westerman said: “I am extremely proud of the staff and officers on West Sussex Division and the dedication and professionalism they deliver to achieve excellent public service on a day to day basis.

“The West Sussex Divisional Awards are an opportunity to recognise and celebrate outstanding performance. This ceremony acknowledges the commitment of our staff, officers and volunteers to achieve the best outcomes for the communities they serve and bring offenders to justice.

“There were 65 awards given on the day and many more considered. There is exceptional work going on every day in every corner of the county, most of which never gets as far as a nomination let alone to the awards ceremony.

“There is an immense amount of drive from all staff and officers that often sees them going above and beyond their roles at Sussex Police, contributing in making our county a safer place in which to work, live and visit.

“We have also recognised members of the public whose quick thinking and selfless actions have made a positive difference to others.”

Presentations were awarded by the High Sheriff of West Sussex Caroline Nicholls, Chief Constable Giles York and Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne.