Congratulations to our fantastic bravery winners

Posted on July 15, 2016 | Category :Uncategorized | Comments Off


PC Ryan Hayhurst, PC Jonathan Lonsdale, PC Rebecca Sutton-Scott-Tucker and Acting Sgt John Dingle are South West Regional Winners at the National Police Bravery Awards 2016.

Devon and Cornwall Police’s nominees were put forward after facing a scene described as “something out of a horror movie” when they were confronted by a man wielding a circular saw. Here they speak about their experience during the incident before they headed into a special reception at Downing Street.

Q: How are you feeling about being at Downing Street?

PC Ryan Hayhurst: I’m surprisingly nervous, I don’t know why, mainly because people are putting cameras in my face, probably, which I’m not used to. But yeah, I’m really enjoying it.

Q: Tell me about what happened to you. You were dealing with someone armed with a circular saw.

PC Jonathan Lonsdale: We got called to a neighbourhood dispute and myself and Ryan went to that job to arrest a chap for public order. We knew the gentleman in question quite well, we’d always got on alright with him before, but on that day, for whatever reason, things turned out very differently to how we’d expect them to be. Which resulted in myself and Ryan getting badly injured with an angle grinder and a disc cutter. Luckily my colleagues John and Rebecca turned up, they were able to administer immediate first aid. At the time I had a nasty injury to my left arm, was basically unconscious outside, I didn’t realise what Ryan was up to at that time. You don’t know what’s going on, what dangers you faced at the time. But luckily these guys here turned up and took over to help everyone involved.

Q: So what was going through your mind? You turn up to an incident, there’s a man armed with a circular saw, your colleague’s unconscious and hurt, what was going through your mind at the time?

Acting Sgt John Dingle: Initially it was finding our other colleague because when we got there John was outside, obviously very badly injured, but there was no sign of Ryan. So initially it was, ‘Where’s Ryan and how can we make sure he’s alright’? Once we’d realised he was trapped in the flat still it was getting him out. I went into the flat to find Ryan being chased round with a variety of power tools, like something out of a Benny Hill scene. We managed to get him out of the flat and shut the male in the flat and get John away, get them the treatment they needed at the local hospital, which ultimately probably saved John’s life.

Q: And Rebecca what were your thoughts? What was going through your mind when you got there?

PC Rebecca Sutton-Scott-Tucker: It was trying to work out what was going on initially, because when we first arrived we went into a communal entrance and we knew that both the guys had gone into the flat, but I looked over and John Dingle’s shoulder down the corridor and couldn’t see anything. Then I heard a noise behind me which was John Lonsdale who was on his back and he had blood spurting from an arterial bleed to his shoulder. So I went down to John to administer first aid, and then heard and saw both John Dingle and Ryan rush out of the flat and out of the communal hallway. So it was then a case of shove John underneath he stairwell, trying to work out as to where the offender was and what he was going to do next. I was fortunate that Ryan came back into the building and then we both dragged John out and he was then taken to the local hospital.

Q: You as police officers run towards danger all the time, where other people wouldn’t know what to do or they might run away. Is that just part of the job or is this really above and beyond for you?

PC Rebecca Sutton-Scott-Tucker: I think if you asked any police officer, any police officer would have done the same as what we have done. Our training kicks in, it’s what we’re trained to do, and you just hope that when something like this happens that your training is going to take over. Whatever emotion you are going through at that time, your training kicks in and you get on with the matter that’s in hand. It’s only when you look back afterwards that you think, ‘That could have turned out really differently’, and we could have had guys not going home to their families.

Q: And what about the day itself today, it’s a wonderful example of positive police stories of bravery. What’s it like to meet your colleagues from around the country?

Acting Sgt John Dingle: It’s inspiring but I don’t think anyone joins this job to get awards and get recognition. But it is nice that it happens and we get to come and have a day out like this, visit Downing Street and meet our colleagues from around the country.

PC Rebecca Sutton-Scott-Tucker: But also hopefully members of the public see that there’s positivity within the police force and we are doing good work and that it’s not all doom and gloom.