Mercy Muroki on Britain's bravest cop: We shouldn’t forget to celebrate the lifesaving work police do

National Police Bravery Awards are 'a timely reminder of all the incredible things that our police do'

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An officer who single-handedly fended off a man on a machete rampage has been honoured with the accolade of Britain’s bravest cop at this years police bravery awards.

PC Stuart Outten, dubbed ‘Britain's hardest cop’ was repeatedly struck over the head with a two-foot long machete after stopping a van for having no insurance.

He suffered a fractured skull, broken fingers, and injured tendons as he bravely fought off the crazed attacker, even managing to successfully taze him in the frenzy.

He joins recent winners like PC Keith Palmer, who was given the award posthumously after being killed whilst stopping a knife-wielding terrorist from entering the Palace of Westminster. And PC Charlie Guenigault, who ran towards terrorists unarmed when he was off duty to protect innocent people.

And also the likes of PC Andrew Dear, who won the national award in 2019 after wedging himself into a 10-inch gap under a leaking car to save a man who was trapped under it.

Now, many peoples’ trust in the police is being slowly eroded. The number of people who think the police are doing a bad job has increased by over 50% over the last year – a third of people surveyed now say this is the case.This is understandable.

The kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard by serving policeman Wayne Couzens has shattered many peoples’ perception of the police as protectors. It’s come to light recently that only a third of police officers found guilty of sexual misconduct have been sacked.

But the National Police Bravery Awards are a timely reminder of all the incredible things that our police do.

And its an important reminder of why its paramount that we root out all the bad apples; that whichever cultures and practices that have been allowing bent coppers to thrive are identified and swiftly dealt with.

Policing is an honourable profession, and our officers put up with so much, at great risk to themselves and for what I think is inadequate reward.

I want to see a zero tolerance approach to bad cops. But we shouldn’t forget to celebrate and appreciate all the outstanding, lifesaving work they do.