A Hampshire police officer, who suffered severe injuries as she wrestled with a violent driver, has been nominated for a Police Bravery Award.
The actions of Constable Vikki Sharpe will be recognised at the 21st Police Bravery Awards on 14 July. The awards honour and recognise police officers who performed outstanding acts of bravery while on or off duty, and are sponsored by Police Mutual.
PC Sharpe was on duty alone when she stopped a car which was being driven erratically on the M3 near Basingstoke. She requested a breath test from the driver who then became aggressive and started struggling with her for some 15 minutes, with the officer trying to prevent them both being dragged onto the motorway, which could have been fatal.
PC Sharpe tried to handcuff the driver but he resisted so much that only one of his wrists could be cuffed, as the pair of them fought the driver managed to grab his car keys and get back into his car. In the violent struggle PC Sharpe instinctively handcuffed the driver to the steering wheel. PC Sharpe was leaning into the car attempting to grab the keys, at this time he started the engine and then reverse rammed the police car whilst PC Sharpe was still clinging on to the car. PC Sharpe used her CS Gas and her baton to gain control but this was infective. As a result PC Sharpe received a broken hand as well as bruising all over her body.
The driver managed to get away but despite the immense pain PC Sharpe was in she managed to get into her damaged police car and took up the pursuit. Fortunately other colleagues took over and PC Sharpe pulled over where she collapsed at the side of the motorway through pain, shock and exhaustion.
As a result of the incident, PC Sharpe sustained a broken hand, damage to her ribs, back and shoulder pain and spent three months off work and was on sleeping tablets. She spent three months off work and this incident took its toll on her both physically and mentally. She still suffers with back and shoulder pain, and her hand has not mended to a level that it was prior to this incident.
John Apter, chairman of Hampshire Police Federation, said:
“PC Sharpe displayed courage, tenacity and commitment to duty in what was a prolonged and sustained attack. Being attacked at the side of a live motorway placed the officer in extreme danger, it was only the officer’s bravery, professionalism and luck which prevented this from turning into a tragedy. Police officers perform a difficult and dangerous job and it is never acceptable for an officer to be assaulted while working to protect the public.”
Olivia Pinkney, Chief Constable of Hampshire Constabulary, said:
“PC Sharpe acted instinctively in what was a violent and dangerous situation, she acted without hesitation and even though badly injured continued to do her job on behalf of the public. I am so proud of Vikki, she is a credit to the Constabulary.”
Stephen Mann, CEO of Police Mutual, said: “This year marks the 21st anniversary of the Police Bravery Awards and the eighth consecutive year that Police Mutual has sponsored them. We are proud to continue our support for such an inspirational event in the Policing calendar and 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.”
PC Vikki Sharpe also received a Chief Constables’ Commendation for Bravery, a Crown Court Judge Commendation for Bravery and has been commended by her District Commander for exceptional leadership in the past.