Police officer receives award for restraining violent man

PC Neil Black (left), police dog Red and BTP Chief Constable Andrew Trotter (right).
PC Neil Black (left), police dog Red and BTP Chief Constable Andrew Trotter (right).
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A POLICEMAN who helped British Transport Police (BTP) officers restrain an extremely violent man at St Leonards Warrior Square train station has been awarded for his bravery.

PC Neil Black, a dog handler for Sussex Police, was presented with the commendation by BTP Chief Constable Andrew Trotter during a ceremony at the force’s London headquarters recently.

PC Black, together with PC Stephen Webster and Special Constable Mark Walder, were called to the station around 1.30am on Saturday, April 24 last year after a violent man, who was under the influence of drink and drugs, smashed a train window.

He was spotted running into the pitch-black tunnel linking St Leonards Warrior Square and Hastings stations.

The three officers followed him into the tunnel and were able to corner him. But owing to his sheer physical size and the cocktail of drink and drugs he had consumed he was able to resist arrest.

Red, PC Black’s German Shepherd police dog, was deployed in a further attempt to arrest the man. Following a violent struggle, he was eventually restrained and arrested, with one of the BTP officers suffering a fractured wrist.

The man was convicted last year, where he received a nine-month community order and a six-month curfew.

PC Webster and Special Constable Walder were presented with Chief Constable’s commendations in October.

Following Friday’s ceremony, BTP Chief Constable Trotter said: “I firmly believe that officers such as PC Black make the British police service what it is, often putting their own safety at risk to keep our communities safe.

“I am delighted to be able to congratulate and commend PC Black for the unfaltering bravery and resilience he showed in detaining such a violent and acutely aggressive man.”

PC Black said: “These were very unusual circumstances and I was very pleased with the way in which Red performed.

“He was a young dog, being three years old at the time, and showed great courage throughout.

“Trying to detain a very large, aggressive man with only torchlight was a challenge, but with great teamwork we managed to resolve what could otherwise have escalated into a more serious incident.”

Sussex Police Chief Superintendent Paul Morrison said: “Neil and his dog showed the importance here of working together to keep the public safe.

“Their actions, in support of BTP colleagues, enabled this situation to be resolved safely.”