12 July 2018
Two Metropolitan Police officers who ran to London’s aid during a terror attack have jointly won a Police Bravery Award.
PC Keith Palmer GM was named posthumously as the Region 8 (London) winner, alongside PC Charlie Guenigault at the 23rd national Police Bravery Awards in London on 12 July, hosted by the Police Federation of England and Wales. The awards, sponsored by Police Mutual, honour and recognise police officers who perform outstanding acts of bravery.
PC Palmer was given the award posthumously, after he was tragically killed in a terror attack. He was on duty at Westminster Palace when a terrorist drove into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, injuring and killing innocent people. He then crashed his vehicle and ran into the terrified crowds. Petrified members of the public were running away, passing where PC Palmer was on duty.
Hearing the screams coming from Westminster Bridge, unarmed PC Palmer immediately ran towards the noise. He began closing the gates, intent on protecting those within Parliament. But as he was doing his job he was set upon by the terrorist and attacked with a knife. Tragically PC Palmer died of his injuries. His brave actions gave armed police critical time to react, potentially saving countless lives.
PC Guenigault was on his way home from relaxing with friends after finishing his shift, when three knife-wielding terrorists attacked the public at London Bridge. Unarmed PC Guenigault was determined to protect the innocent people around him and ran towards the terrorists, fighting them with his bare hands. The terrorists stabbed him repeatedly, leaving him in a critical condition.
He suffered serious injuries to his head, back and stomach, with his life hanging in the balance. During the course of the terrorist attack, Wayne Marques, a British Transport Police (BTP) officer, received significant injuries, eight people were killed and 48 were injured.
PC Guenigault said: “It’s an absolute privilege to be here, we’ve already heard some amazing stories and everyone who is nominated gets their own awards which is fantastic and shows the appreciation that comes from all the Federations across the country. It shows support is out there when you do acts of bravery, it really does show it’s worthwhile doing this job.”
Calum Macleod, Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “There are no words to adequately describe the incredible courage of PC Palmer and PC Guenigault – both officers truly went above and beyond to protect others. They showed exceptional bravery in the most horrific circumstances, and thoroughly deserve to win this award. Their sacrifices will never be forgotten”.
Stephen Mann, CEO of Police Mutual, said: “Over the last 10 years, Police Mutual has been proud to have sponsored such an inspirational event in the policing calendar and for my colleagues and I 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 and keep us safe.”
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