Two police officers who were seriously injured as well as the officers who came to their aid and arrested the man responsible, displayed extreme bravery, professionalism and sound judgement, a PIRC report has found.
A 43-year-old man was deliberately struck by a police car during an attempt to arrest him on a road in Greenock. He received minor injuries as a result of the collision on 1 June 2018.
Shortly before the man was struck by the car, he had repeatedly stabbed two police officers on their neck, arms and face while they were trying to arrest him in his home in Greenock.
During their initial attempts to arrest the man, the officers had used PAVA spray to try and incapacitate him but it had no effect. After they had been stabbed, both officers made several calls requesting immediate assistance and provided updates to the Police Control Room.
The man then ran from his home armed with a knife and went into the street where there were several members of the public.
Several police officers responded to the wounded officers’ requests for assistance. The first officers arrived in a marked police car and saw the man walking towards their car, with a knife.
Aware that his colleagues had been seriously injured, the police officer who was driving the car felt the man posed a serious risk to members of the public and other officers. He decided that the best option at that moment was to drive at a low speed towards the man in an attempt to either disarm or incapacitate him. The man hit the car’s bonnet and fell to the ground before getting up and then attempting to stab the officer. After a short chase by other officers the man was arrested.
The PIRC now publishes the investigative report findings into the incident following the conclusion of proceedings against the 43-year-old man. You can read the full findings here.
Commissioner Kate Frame said:
“This was an extremely difficult situation for all the officers involved in the detention of the man. In particular, the two officers who initially went to the man’s home were subjected to a sustained and violent attack, during which they were repeatedly stabbed.
“Despite being seriously injured and bleeding heavily, one of the officers managed to pursue the man into the street where there were a number of people going about their daily business.
"In response to the officer’s calls for urgent assistance, other police officers arrived in a police car. When the driver saw the man with a large knife in his hand, walking back to his distressed and injured colleague who was bleeding heavily, he considered that due to the lack of other tactical options, to use the car to strike the man at low speed, with the intention of disarming or incapacitating him.
“I consider that in the circumstances that action was necessary and appropriate and that all the officers involved in this traumatic incident demonstrated extreme bravery and displayed the utmost professionalism in swiftly bringing the incident to an end without any further injuries, either to other officers or members of the public.”
No recommendations were made.