Kent - officer stabbed after confronting group

PC Stephen Howard

PC Stephen Howard

An unarmed off-duty officer who was stabbed after confronting a group has been nominated for a national Police Bravery Award for his actions.

PC Stephen Howard was walking with his partner one Saturday afternoon, when he saw a group of men climbing over a fence into a garden. The group tried to enter the house, kicking and hitting the door.

Despite the risk to his own safety and being far outnumbered, PC Howard crossed the road to challenge the group and protect the house and its occupants. Most of the group climbed back into the street and made off, but PC Howard managed to take hold of one of the men and restrain him.

PC Howard was punched in the face several times by another man but despite being attacked and realising the danger he was in, he continued to restrain him. He then felt an excruciating pain in his leg, causing him to release his grip and the two men ran off.

PC Howard's leg stitches

PC Howard's leg stitches

PC Howard had been stabbed in his right thigh with a knife so long and with such force, the blade had gone through his leg and out the other side. Although he was in intense pain, he remained calm with his shocked and distressed partner at his side, before being rushed into emergency surgery with an arterial bleed. Complications to the wound meant he needed more surgery and two blood transfusions, remaining in hospital for five days and unable to walk for five weeks before moving onto crutches.

PC Howard displayed outstanding bravery and professionalism in tackling this violent group. He placed himself in danger to prevent crime and protect the public, whilst off duty and without protective equipment.

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