GMP - tackled man with firearm

GMP PC Robert Shakespeare

PC Robert Shakespeare

A Greater Manchester Police officer who tackled and arrested a gun-wielding man has been nominated for a Police Bravery Award.

On the evening of 15 June 2016, PC Robert Shakespeare PC Robert Shakespeare was in the area at the time in plain clothes and an unmarked car in an unrelated police matter and became aware of reports of a man wearing a balaclava, and potentially carrying a firearm, in the Heaton Chapel area of Stockport. Being close to the scene, the officer - who was in plain clothes and a non-marked vehicle - began observations while waiting for response officers.

Further reports confirmed the man was armed, and PC Shakespeare watched him gesturing towards staff at a takeaway shop, threatening them and demanding money. As the man took off on a bicycle, the officer followed, only for the man to turn back towards the town centre a short while later. As the man approached PC Shakespeare, he could clearly see he was holding a handgun.

Knowing that backup was still some distance away, and having concerns for the safety of the public if the man returned to the high street, PC Shakespeare had a decision to make. Believing there was a real and potentially lethal threat posed, he used his police car to clip the wheel of the offender’s bicycle as he rode past. The offender fell to the ground, but was quickly on his feet running towards the town, with the firearm.

Despite the man turning around, looking as if he might take aim, PC Shakespeare continued to give chase on foot. After a short distance he caught up with the man and managed to tackle him to the ground, detaining him with help from members of the public.

It was later discovered that the offender’s firearm was fake, and he pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and possessing an imitation firearm. He was given a 12-month youth referral order.

Ian Hanson, Chair of the Greater Manchester Police Federation said: “PC Shakespeare has shown exceptional courage in chasing down a man who he believed was armed. He put the safety of the public ahead of his own, and is incredibly deserving of this bravery nomination.”

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