Police officer who tackled man surrounded by weapons up for bravery award

Brave: PC Garry Dixon

Brave: PC Garry Dixon

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A Thames Valley Police officer who tackled an aggressive man surrounded by weapons and threatening to set himself and officers alight has been recognised for his bravery.

The actions of Constable Garry Dixon will be recognised at the 21st Police Bravery Awards on July 14.

The awards honour and recognise police officers who performed outstanding acts of bravery while on or off duty.

Back in 2013, PC Dixon attended a report of a man trying to get his dad’s air rifle following a disagreement at a party. When he attended the Oxfordshire house the man was found to be in his father’s shed being very aggressive and destroying the shed.

The man had lost his dad three days earlier to a degenerative disease and was full of extreme grief and anger.

Another double crewed car of two Specials also attended to help – SC Kim Connolly and SC Raphael Winstanley who were being tutored.

PC Dixon took charge of the situation in a calm and controlled manner, negotiating with the man who was now sat in the destroyed shed with numerous weapons around him. He directed the Special Constables to assist with the negotiations.

PC Dixon was unable to Taser the man due to sharp items on the floor so maintained a good dialogue with him throughout. The man was very unpredictable and offered some really challenging behaviour ranging from smiling menacingly, to threats and to throwing hammers at the officers.

This continued for over an hour with PC Dixon negotiating the man to put the hammers down. He proceeded to smash a hammer over his own head causing nasty injuries, grabbed a container of petrol, spraying it around the shed and at PC Dixon. He also produced a lighter and made threats to kill all of the officers. He then struck the lighter which fortunately only sparked.

At this point PC Dixon, in fear for his own life and that of his colleagues, tackled the man to the floor before he had chance to set them all alight.

Graham Smith, chairman of the Thames Valley Police Federation, said: “This incident had the potential for all those concerned to have been seriously injured if not worse. PC Dixon showed great courage, leadership, tactical and communication skills that resolved this very difficult and emotional situation.”

Stephen Mann, CEO of Police Mutual, said: “This year marks the 21st anniversary of the Police Bravery Awards and the eighth consecutive year that Police Mutual has sponsored them.

“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.”