West Yorks - arrested the murderer of MP Jo Cox
PC Craig Nicholls QGM (left) and PC Jonathan Wright QGM
Two West Yorkshire officers who apprehended and arrested the murderer of MP Jo Cox have been nominated for a national Police Bravery Award.
The murder of Mrs Cox, the MP for Batley & Spen, shocked the nation as she was stabbed and shot outside Birstall Library in June last year.
PCs Craig Nicholls QGM and Jonathan Wright QGM, both unarmed, were on routine patrol and after hearing about the incident decided to make their way towards where the offender had last been seen.
As they were driving up Leeds Road, they saw a man who took evasive action to avoid being seen by them. Their natural instinct was to follow him, and as they turned the corner, they established that this man was indeed the suspect and he was more than likely still armed with a loaded gun and knife.
Putting the safety of the wider public ahead of their own, the two approached and apprehended the man. Upon contact, the suspect dropped a bag he was carrying and made a motion to grab something from his waistband.
Fearing it was a weapon, the pair sprung in to action, running at him and rugby tackling him to the ground to arrest him. It was not until the suspect was arrested, and the discovery of a gun and a knife in his possession, that both officers realised the magnitude of their actions.
The story, and pictures of the arrest, received much national press coverage and the two officers have already won West Yorkshire Police’s Brave Officer Award, received a Chief Constable’s Commendation and more recently been honoured this year with a Queen’s Gallantry Medal.
Nick Smart, Chair of the West Yorkshire Police Federation, said: “This was an extraordinary act of bravery as both officers no doubt under extreme pressure and fear acted and prevented the suspect from committing any further acts of extreme violence.
“The officers’ primary concern was not for their own safety but the fact that there were numerous members of public on the street going about their normal daily business who were potentially in life-threatening danger.
“The officers acted with the upmost bravery and professionalism. Their swift, courageous and selfless actions ensured the suspect was apprehended quickly and key evidenced was recovered. Their actions stopped any prolonged community distress and fear.”
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