A Merseyside Police constable who disarmed and arrested a robber armed with a handgun has won a prestigious regional Police Bravery Award.
PC Paul Kirwin wrestled the black hand gun off the man who was pointing it at terrified shop staff and managed to handcuff and, with the help of a colleague, arrest him.
He was presented with the award by Andy Burnham MP, shadow home secretary, at the ceremony in central London at the event attended by senior figures from government and chief constables from around the country.
The incident happened at approximately 4.15pm on Wednesday, 24th July 2013, when PC Kirwin was on patrol with his colleague.
While driving through the shop precinct car park on Pendle View, Litherland, PC Kirwin saw a man who was standing at the far end of an alleyway that runs between the shops and a derelict building.
He was looking around and pacing up and down, acting suspiciously and seemed agitated.
PC Kirwin stopped and made his way over while his colleague drove around the derelict building towards the rear of the shops.
The officer made his way along the alleyway and as he came to the end he looked left and saw the man standing at the rear of one of the shops.
He saw the man leaning through a door at the rear of one of the shops, and so quietly walked around the back of him. His right arm was outstretched into the rear of the shop and he was pointing a black handgun at staff members who PC Kirwin could see were scared.
The suspect began to realise someone was behind him and began to turn round to see PC Kirwin. He immediately took hold of the man’s arm holding the firearm and a struggle ensued.
PC Kirwin wrestled with the man, ensuring that he could not point the firearm at either himself or the terrified shop assistant.
He managed to keep the man restrained and was able to force him to drop the handgun inside the shop. PC Kirwin then managed to fully restrain and handcuff him.
At this point PC Kirwin was joined by his colleague and was then able to formally caution and arrest the man for attempted armed robbery, and possession of a firearm with intent, offences that he admitted at Court.
Peter Singleton, chairman, Merseyside Police Federation, said: “Constable Kirwin’s quick thinking and outstanding bravery led to the arrest of a very dangerous individual. His actions may have saved a life.”
Stephen Mann, CEO, Police Mutual, said: “This incident is another example of the real dangers faced by officers across the country. Police Mutual is honoured to sponsor the Police Bravery Awards and congratulate the officers who have shown tremendous dedication and commitment to their role in protecting others, with little thought for their own safety. We thank you wholeheartedly for keeping us safe.”
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