Off-duty officer who tackled knifeman wins London region Bravery Award

14 July 2016


An off-duty Metropolitan Police officer’s act of courage, in tackling a knifeman in a Southend shopping centre, has earned him a regional Police Bravery Award.

PC Ian Molineaux of the Metropolitan Police, was tonight named as the Region 8 (London) winner at the 21st Police Bravery Awards in London.  The awards, sponsored by Police Mutual, honour and recognise police officers who perform outstanding acts of bravery while on or off duty.

The officer was off duty in a shopping centre in Southend-on-Sea with his family and his friend’s family, both including young children, when they alerted him to a man in the centre with a knife.

Seeing the knifeman threatening passers-by with an 11 inch carving knife, PC Molineaux immediately ushered members of the public behind him towards the exit whilst making his way towards the attacker. Using a plastic vegetable container as a make-shift shield, taken from a nearby stall, he then tried to talk with the knifeman and encourage him to release the weapon.

When PC Molineaux identified himself as a police officer the knifeman refused to believe him and attempted to slash him several times. The ordeal went on for around seven minutes before armed Essex police officers arrived and tasered the suspect. 

PC Ian Molineaux received a Chief Constable's Commendation from Essex Police for his bravery as well as a nomination for the Met Excellency Awards and a Borough Commanders Commendation.

On receiving the award from Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, PC Molineaux said: “It's an honour to win this award, there's some amazing stories out there. I was gobsmacked to win but it's great. I don't think any police officer is off duty, you carry your warrant card with you wherever you go and if you see something is going wrong, and you think you can deal with it, then you try."

Ken Marsh, Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said:  “It is clear that PC Molineaux went over and above the call of duty by single-handedly keeping his own family and members of the public safe whilst tackling an armed offender.  The initial level of panic, including from his own children, was clearly high and rather than go with a parental instinct to follow his children and partner out, he squarely put himself in danger to prevent any member of the public from getting hurt.  Due to the mind-set of the knifeman, had PC Molineaux not been present and acted as he did, a member of the public is highly likely to have been stabbed and possibly killed.  It was an honour to nominate PC Molineaux for this prestigious award.”

Sir Bernard Hogan Howe, Commissioner Metropolitan Police, said: “What incredible bravery – Ian was out with his family, without any support from his colleagues – it certainly passes my test of bravery.  I thought it was an incredible act.”

Stephen Mann, CEO of Police Mutual, said:  “Congratulations to all of the brave nominees this year. We are proud to continue our support for such an inspirational event in the Policing calendar and to be able to show our respect for the exceptional courage shown by Police Officers who risk their lives every day to protect the public."