Three Thames Valley Police officers who saved the lives of a terrified wife and her three children by detaining an extremely abusive, violent and aggressive husband have won a Thames Valley Police Federation Bravery Award.
PC Emily Chapman, PC David Icke and PC Nazia Hussain suffered severe injuries during the incident but were still able to subdue the man during the attack in June 2018.
The officers were called to attend reports of screaming from a property in the town of Bletchley at around midnight.
On arrival, the officers could see neighbours were out on the street and could hear horrifying high-pitched screams coming from one of the houses.
Realising they were children’s screams the officers knew they had to get into the property as quickly as possible and rather than waiting for specialist equipment to arrive they smashed their way into the property using a neighbour’s hammer.
PC Hussain led the way up the stairs followed by PC Chapman who was carrying a Taser, with PC Icke to the rear. As they reached the landing, the officers could see a man standing over his wife who he was violently punching about her face and body.
Seeing the officers approach him up the stairs, the man turned his aggression to PC Hussain, and he grabbed hold of her before punching her in the head several times. PC Chapman then discharged her Taser, but such was the man’s aggressive state that it had no effect on him.
She was then forced to use her PAVA spray on the man in a bid to get him to release PC Hussain and to get him under control, but again the deterrent did little to stop the attack.
By now the man had grabbed hold of PC Chapman and was forcing her over the bannister before PC Icke managed to administer more PAVA spray directly into the man’s eyes.
However, the man carried on attacking PC Hussain before the officers managed to bundle him to the ground.
Back up then arrived to help detain the man, and the officers could see the devastation his violence had caused in the home.
Three children were in the bedroom, which was covered in blood and vomit.
PC Icke broke his hand during the incident while PC Hussain suffered a concussion.
The man later received a 16- year sentence, and it transpired he been planning to murder his wife by drowning her in the bath as the officers arrived.
PC Icke said; “We were basically fighting for our lives, and we needed to protect the people in the house already because we don’t know at that point what’s happened to them and the state of their health. We had to control the man anyway we could.”
PC Chapman said the incident would always remain with her.
She said: “It really did get to the point where we would have tried anything to have stopped him, to protect us and the other... I was so worried about him getting back into the bedroom, to the children and wife.
“It is one of those cases that we all feel we saved their lives. That’s our job. That’s what we’re here to do, and it is one job that will always stick in our minds as we did it to the best of our ability and saved them. It’s nice to be honoured by the awards and DC Rob Buchannan who worked on the case was amazing.”
The officers later arranged for Christmas presents to be sent to the children.
Thames Valley Police Federation Chairman Craig O’Leary said the officers showed immense tenacity and courage.
“They saved the lives of this family, plain and simple. This was an extreme incident, and they were up against a violent and incredibly aggressive man who was hell-bent on hurting the officers and sadly his family,” he said.
“Despite suffering severe injuries they detained the man – it doesn’t bear thinking about what would have happened if they hadn’t. We are grateful to them and so proud of them, they are very worthy winners of a Bravery Award.”
PCs Hussain, Icke and Chapman will attend an Awards Ceremony in the Thames Valley Policing area on Thursday 5 March where an overall winner will be announced.
The awards are in association with JRM Mortgage Solutions. The hashtag for the event is #TVPFedBravery.