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Officers who tackled suspected ‘bomber’ near Arsenal ground honoured for bravery

Three Northumbria Police officers were also honoured.

Five police officers who foiled a suspected terror plot near Arsenal’s football ground have been recognised for their valour.

The Metropolitan Police officers wrestled a man to the floor close to the Emirates Stadium last year and held him tightly despite seeing electrical wires protruding from his clothes, the Police Federation said.

The device turned out to be a dud, but the five constables – Alex Field, Jason Hodgson, Marc Woolmer, Sam Homer and Wayne Pullen – won a regional prize at the Police Bravery Awards.

The annual event, hosted by the federation, saw the main prize go to three Northumbria Police officers who disarmed a mentally ill gunmen during a struggle which saw the weapon fired.

Constables Sarah Currie, Michael Otterson and sergeant Elliot Richardson helped tackle the man, who was later found in position of an extensive deadly arsenal.

In the earlier category, the London officers won the decoration for bravest in the capital.

They had first been alerted to reports of a suspect marauding Islington, north London, armed with a machete on January 3 2016.

Mr Hodgson and Mr Field had first tackled the man, pinning him to the ground and using two sets of handcuffs to restrain him, the Police Federation said. As they did so, Mr Woolmer and Mr Homer used their bodies to shield the man from those around him.

Disregarding their own safety, the first two officers hugged the man tightly when they spotted the wires, in an attempt to prevent him from detonating any explosion.

Finally, the fifth officer, Mr Pullen, responded to their calls for help and used his military expertise to disassemble what proved to be a fake suicide vest.

They received their award from the country’s highest ranking police officer, Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick.

The night’s most prestigious winners were the North East police officers, whose bravery was hailed by Home Secretary Amber Rudd.

A community nurse had flagged the man as a potential risk and officers set about tracking him down out of fear he could turn violent.

The constables walked into a trap set by the suspect, who the trade association said had a history of violence, schizophrenia and paranoia.

There followed a “violent and lengthy” struggle between the pair and the gun-wielding man, whose arm they grabbed to direct the weapon away, the federation said.

They were then joined by Mr Richardson in their efforts to disarm the suspect – but he succeeded in firing a shot into the ceiling of the pub foyer in Gateshead.

A member of the public jumped in to assist and he was ultimately stripped of his weapon.

Two handguns, a crossbow, a pack of throwing knives, home-made petrol bombs, smoke grenades and a baseball bat were later discovered in the man’s bag, according to the association.

He was also said to be clad in body armour.

Ms Rudd told them on Thursday night: “It’s because of the instinctive actions and remarkable heroism of Pcs Currie and Otterson and Sergeant Richardson that a horrifying incident was stopped and an imminent threat to public safety was averted.

“I pay tribute to their quick thinking and selflessness, which put them in between the public and a dangerous situation.”

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