A Hastings police officer won a regional bravery award yesterday (Thursday, July 14), after single-handedly tackling two armed robbers in Bexhill.
PC Greg Montier helped bring the phone thieves, who were armed with a spanner and a claw hammer, to justice while off duty in January, 2015.
The officer was named as the south east winner at the 21st Police Bravery Awards in London as well as Constable Commendation for his courage.
On receiving his award from National Police Chiefs’ Council chairman Sara Thornton, PC Montier said: “This award means so much to me, it’s a once in the lifetime opportunity and I still can’t believe I’m being counted among all the other award winners.
“My family and my partner have been so proud of me since I was nominated, they’ll be thrilled to know that I’ve actually won.”
Chief Constable Giles York said Greg lived up to the highest expectations of the public of Sussex.
“He put himself into harm’s way, fulfilling the duty of every police officer – even though he was off duty – to protect a man who was under severe attack,” he said.
“He deserves the highest praise and I’m so pleased to see the recognition at this awards ceremony.”
While off duty on January 7, 2015, PC Montier was driving along Buxton Drive when he saw two men standing over another man lying in the road.
One of the men kicked him and the officer heard the man on the floor shouting for help.
PC Montier shouted at the two offenders to stop but they ran away. He went to check on the man lying on the floor and while the victim seemed shaken, he was not seriously hurt.
PC Montier – just one year into his service - saw the suspects had stopped and were walking away so he chased after them, rugby tackled one to the floor and pinned him against a car.
The second offender then returned and was a matter of feet away when he suddenly raised his hand and threatened him with a claw hammer unless he let his fellow offender go.
Despite this, the officer kept hold of the man he was wrestling with and tried to use him as a shield, while shouting for the armed man to stay away.
PC Montier then saw the man he was holding had a 12” spanner in his right hand and says it seemed like he was going to hit him with it.
The man with the hammer told his accomplice to give back the phone he had stolen, which he did.
Eventually the man managed to break free and both robbers ran off with PC Montier unable to catch them due to his exhaustion.
But both men were later identified by the victim and brought to justice.
Sussex Police Federation chairman Matt Webb said: “PC Montier demonstrated real bravery.
“Despite having no support available to him, he was willing to put himself in danger to protect members of the public and tackled the offenders face to face.”
The awards honour police officers who performed outstanding acts of bravery while on or off duty, and are sponsored by Police Mutual.
Chief executive Stephen Mann 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.”
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