West Mids - chased armed robbers

West Mids PC James Neilson and PC Ryan Patel

PC James Neilson (left) and PC Ryan Patel

Officers who confronted and chased armed robbers have been nominated for a national Police Bravery Award.

Whilst out on patrol, PC Ryan Patel and PC James Neilson spotted masked men entering a nearby corner shop. The officers arrived as the men were coming out, and PC Neilson used his incapacitant spray in the face of one of them, but this had little effect and he ran off.

Another masked man stumbled and fell out of the shop and the officers could see he was holding a revolver pistol. Knowing the potential dangers, PC Neilson took advantage of the man’s fall and attempted to restrain him. At one point during the struggle, the offender pressed the firearm against the officer’s chest, barrel first. Despite the fear he must’ve felt, PC Neilson maintained composure and was able to wrestle the weapon away from the man. PC Patel used a baton to try and strike the offender but he managed to escape the officers’ grasps.

Without knowing if the gun was part of an arsenal, or a lone weapon, PC Patel gave chase to the man following him into a large housing estate. Although he was alone and knowing he could be outnumbered if he did find the offender, PC Patel went onto the housing estate and continued to search for the offender. He only left when directed to by his duty sergeant.

The efforts of PC Patel provided significant intelligence which later helped armed police conduct a full search of the area, leading to the recovery of vital evidence. PC Neilson ensured the firearm was kept safely until it could be removed from the scene.

Tom Cuddeford, Chair of West Midlands Police Federation said: “Despite unimaginable fear, PC Neilson fought with an armed man and PC Patel put himself in a situation where he was alone and unarmed in order to try and catch a criminal – it is important to honour and recognise this kind of bravery. We should all be proud that these officers are part of the West Midlands force.”

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