Police officer receives bravery award after tackling knife-wielding man in Bedford

PC showed "exceptional courage" during incident

A police officer who tackled a man wielding a knife in Bedford town centre has been recognised for his bravery.

In the early hours of May 8, 2019, a man was seen on CCTV wielding a large knife.

He attempted to evade police officers before PC George Comer got out of his car and tackled the man - who was still carrying the knife - to the ground.

PC George Comer

His Honour Judge Steven Evans wrote to Chief Constable Garry Forsyth after sentencing to commend PC Comer for his actions, and said: “What PC Comer did was to tackle an adult male, whose response he must have assessed as entirely unpredictable and who was wielding a knife at chest height.

"PC Comer did so without regard to his own safety – perhaps more accurately he acted despite the obvious risk to his own safety.

“PC Comer’s actions, which brought this potentially serious incident to an end without harm to any party, showed exceptional courage. So much so that it was, in my judgement, worthy of commendation in the court. I observed when I asked PC Comer to attend and hear my remarks, that it might be said that he was just doing his duty.

“That might be right, but that does not diminish the bravery he showed in the face of such obvious danger to himself, nor does it obviate the proper recognition that his actions deserve. On behalf of the public and that of the Courts, I thank PC Comer for his brave actions, and I commend him.”

More than 60 officers and staff members have been awarded for their long service, bravery and professionalism over the course of the coronavirus pandemic.

Forty-three officers and staff in total have received a Chief’s Commendation for their bravery and professionalism since March 2020, while 22 officers and staff members have been awarded for completing 20 years’ service in the police over the same timeframe.

Chief Constable Garry Forsyth said: “It’s a pleasure to be able to give a Chief’s commendation award and Long Service medals to our officers and staff.

“Officers and staff go above and beyond their duty to protect the public and it is a huge disappointment for me personally that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are not currently able to host our usual celebration events for our officers and staff to celebrate their fantastic achievements with their friends, family and colleagues.

“I would like to thank everyone for their continued service. To have dedicated two decades to public service is a great achievement, while there have been some truly outstanding acts of bravery and professionalism which are worthy of recognition."