Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Bravery awards for police officers who tackled knifeman

Michael Matheson (front, second left) with some of the officers who were nominated - Some of the nominees. Back, from left to right - PC Chris Robertson, PC Liam Arbuthnott, PC Russell Masson, PC Gavin Clephane, PC Craig McFadyen. Front L-R - PC Kirsty Robertson, PC David Dinnen, Michael Matheson MSP, Brian Docherty, chairman of the Scottish Police Federation, PC Neill Watt. PC Paul Weatherston and PC Iain Reid are not pictured due to operational reasons Image copyright MartisMedia
Image caption Justice Secretary Michael Matheson with Brian Docherty, chairman of the Scottish Police Federation, and some of the officers who were nominated

Two police officers, one of whom was stabbed when they tackled man with a knife in Edinburgh, have won police bravery awards.

PC Paul Weatherston and PC Iain Reid had gone to the aid of a man who was seen with blood on his face.

However, when they approached him, he pulled a three-inch blade out of his sock and lashed out at them.

They were among 12 police officers recognised for performing outstanding acts of bravery while on or off duty.

The pair had been on uniformed patrol in an armed response vehicle when the incident happened on the afternoon of Friday 4 July 2014.

Despite being Tasered by both officers, the man stabbed PC Weatherston in the shoulder three times.

"It was a shock," PC Weatherston said. "Your mind is going a hundred miles an hour, thinking about how you're going to negate the threat and stop that person.

"I suppose what made it worse was the fact that we were going to help someone, we were fully intending to give him first aid, and those circumstances just flipped around so quickly."

Special recognition

The officers eventually managed to handcuff the man who was later given a prison sentence for the attack. It emerged that he had been high on drugs at the time.

PC Reid said: "At the time, Paul didn't even realise he'd been stabbed, with all the adrenaline. It wasn't until we had him under control that Paul said to me 'I think he's caught me', which was a bit of an understatement because all the blood was running down his arm."

PC Weatherston, who now has nerve problems affecting his left hand, said: "At the end of the day, Iain and I were doing our jobs and we'll do it again if we need to."

The officers were presented with Scottish Police Federation Bravery Awards from Justice Secretary Michael Matheson on Thursday night.

Image copyright Scottish Police Federation
Image caption PC Ewan Simpson won a special recognition award for showing incredible determination to return to work after losing a leg

Brian Docherty, chairman of the Scottish Police Federation, said: "PC Weatherston and PC Reid acted admirably in a situation that would be most people's worst nightmare. Their courage and quick-thinking helped resolve a confrontation that could have ended very differently.

"Their training, skills and decisive actions brought what could have been a dangerous and distressing situation for passers-by in a very busy tourist area to a swift and safe conclusion."

Those shortlisted for awards included officers who ran into a burning building, officers who rescued people in a flood-hit town, police constables who saved people attempting to take their own lives and an officer who tackled a man who was armed with meat cleavers.

A special recognition award was given to PC Ewan Simpson, from Aberdeenshire, for showing incredible determination to return to work after losing a leg in a traffic accident.

Mr Matheson said: "These awards allow us all to recognise the bravery of the individual officers and I commend each and every one of them for going above and beyond the call of duty to protect the public."


Bravery nominees

Image copyright Scottish Police Federation
Image caption PC Neill Watt scaled Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh to save a suicidal man
Image copyright Scottish Police Federation
Image caption PCs Christopher Robertson and Liam Arbuthnott rescued an unconscious man in a wheelchair from his smoke-filled flat in Edinburgh
Image copyright Scottish Police Federation
Image caption Craig McFadyen, Russell Masson and Gavin Clephane, who along with Insp Denise McInally, waded through chest-deep water to rescue local residents in the flood-hit village of Ballater
Image copyright Scottish Police Federation
Image caption PC David Dinnen tackled a man with meat cleavers near central Glasgow schools
Image copyright Scottish Police Federation
Image caption PC Kirsty Robertson stopped a woman from throwing herself off a bridge in Irvine

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