December 10 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
A Wisbech police community support officer who disarmed an axe wielding woman “and sat on her until other officers arrived” is to receive a bravery award.
PCSO Lisa Mann was called to North Cambs Hospital in Wisbech following reports of a disturbance and discovered a woman with an axe threatening to kill a doctor.
Inspector Robin Sissons, the sector police chief, said: “Lisa acted really professionally and calmly got the axe off her and sat on her until other officers arrived.”
He said she had initially been called to the hospital following reports of people on the roof and realised a doctor who challenged the group and been assaulted.
As PCSO Mann began to gather evidence and carry out a sweep of the ground she was confronted by the woman with the axe.
“You have to remember Lisa had no pava (an incapacitant spray), no taser or baton but she acted professionally and bravely and got the axe off her.
“She acted beyond the call of duty. She went into automatic reaction and got stuck in to get the axe of the woman. I suppose self preservation came in as well as her training as she tackled the woman straight to the floor to restrain her. When other police officers arrived they put the handcuffs on the offender.”
PCSO Mann said her visit to the hospital, which she thought was to deal with young people on a roof, turned out “to be something altogether more serious.
“A number of offences were taking place and my colleague went off to search for offenders but as I stepped out of the hospital doors a female approached and was looking very angry. As I stopped her she was raising an axe and said she wanted to kill the doctor.
“I grabbed hold of her arms, there was a bit of a struggle, and I managed to get the axe out of her arm and then sat on her until back up arrived. It seemed like it was for ever but in reality it was moment until my colleague Luke arrived back.”
Mrs Mann, 37, and a PCSO in her home town for the past five years, said she later returned to the police station and to do the casework and then went back on duty.”
She has already received the chief constable’s commendation for bravery but will now receive a national award at a ceremony in Northamptonshire on November 19.
“I have been involved in a few scuffles over the years but nothing like this,” she said.
“I was completely unaware of the nomination for a national award. It is good for PCSOs to be recognised like this. We are part of the frontline, too, and it is quite important to get across that we don’t have any protection, no pava, restraints or anything else for what is normally a non confrontational role. In practice of course you don’t know what is round the corner or how people are going to react so you have to prepare for all eventualities.”
Insp Sissons said such incidents “are very rare which is why we have recognised it as an act of bravery. It doesn’t, fortunately, happen very often”.
Insp Sissons said: “Basically Lisa was on a sort of adrenalin rush. She calmed down, was ok, and got back on the streets within an hour.
He said: “We are proud of her. It’s something that doesn’t happen all the time and PCSOs don’t always get a good press so this is excellent news.”
The arrested woman was later charged with several offences and jailed.