Find out more at www.polfed.org/bravery
Two West Mercia officers who tackled a man who had doused himself in petrol
Two West Mercia officers who tackled a man who had doused himself in petrol have been nominated for a national Police Bravery Award.
PC Philip Parke and PC Steven Bloomer of West Mercia Police braved the risk of being set on fire in order to rescue a woman from her violent ex-husband.
The officers went to an address in Telford on 25 March 2015 where a woman’s screams had been heard. They discovered the suspect inside, armed with a can of petrol. He had doused himself and his victim and was threatening to burn the house down.
PC Bloomer rushed to the man, preventing him from striking a match and released the woman from his grip. PC Parke sprayed him with PAVA and, after a violent struggle, the two officers managed to subdue him. Both officers suffered minor cuts and chemical burns that required hospital treatment and the female victim had suffered significant chemical burns.
It transpired her ex-husband was on bail for raping her. He later pleaded guilty and was convicted for attempted murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Chair of the West Mercia Police Federation, Russ Yeomans, said: “These officers showed supreme courage in tackling this man, knowing full well that petrol could have ignited at any moment. The victim said later that there is no doubt in her mind that she would have been killed had they not arrived when they did.”
“We went in and we could see that there was blood and glass all over the floor, petrol had been strewn all over the kitchen.”
PC Steven Bloomer and PC Philip Parke describe the moment they attended the call which resulted in their nomination for a #PoliceBravery award.
PC Bloomer: “We were sent to a domestic related incident in the Stirchley area of Telford. When we arrived, the gentleman was on the driveway, telling us to go down the side of the house. He was the gentleman who had called us, and said there’s obviously something going on. Next door he heard mayhem, chaos etcetera. We went through a narrow alleyway, in between the two houses, and we could see that the door had been smashed in. The blind was blowing in the wind.”
PC Parke: “The venetian blind, yes”
PC Bloomer: “We went in and we could see that there was blood and glass all over the floor, petrol had been strewn all over the kitchen. And stood there, literally, in the kitchen about ten yards away, was a guy. He had his arm around a lady like this, he’d covered himself in petrol, her in petrol, and he was there with matches, trying to light them. At which point we decided to go in and tackle the guy, pull the said lady away, didn’t we? She made her escape across all the glass, cut her feet to ribbons, but she was taken care of by the paramedics. We ended up having a bit of a roll around with this guy, he didn’t want to come in. And he was restrained, arrested and detained.”
When asked if they would do the same thing again, this is what they had to say..
PC Parke: “Absolutely. Obviously it’s part of our duty. We didn’t know what we were going to go into on that particular day in question, and we did exactly what all of our colleagues around the country would have done. When faced with a situation like that you have to react and you have to get involved, so absolutely.”
And how proud were they to be nominated for the award..
PC Parke: “Very proud indeed.”
PC Bloomer: “Yes very proud. It’s a pleasure to be here. Good time. We’re amongst a lot of police officers here who have all done extremely brave things. Like Phil said, it’s something that we are very proud to be here, but we’re also proud to be with all the other people here as well, because it’s a fantastic occasion, it’s a pleasure. But we don’t want to overemphasise the fact that we are here, amongst other police officers as well, and we’re all very proud to be here, not just us. It’s a great honour.”