Fallen hero and colleague honoured with top bravery award

Friday, 11 July, 2008

This year's top Police Bravery Award went to two heroic West Mercia officers who risked their lives to save their colleagues from the clutches of a gunman.

The incident ended in tragedy with one officer losing his life. PC Mat Crisp and PC Richard Gray were both honoured with the award. PC Mat Crisp was presented the award, collecting on behalf of himself and his fallen colleague.

The award was presented at a ceremony held at The Dorchester and co-hosted with The Sun newspaper. The award was given in the presence of Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith and followed a reception at number 10 Downing Street where PC Mat Crisp, with the 62 other nominees, met the Prime Minister.

Constables Richard Gray (fallen officer) and Mat Crisp were called to provide back up to two colleagues being held at gun point after a domestic incident escalated out of control.

The officers who arrived first on the scene were met with a very volatile situation in which a man was threatening his partner with a rifle and then turned on the unarmed officers. One of the quick thinking officers pressed the emergency button on his radio which alerted the control room to the situation and also informed them there were hostages.

Constable's Gray and Crisp were part of the armed response unit on duty and made their way to the incident. When they arrived, they saw their colleagues being held at gunpoint and immediately made their way towards them. Constable Gray ran down the alleyway to the rear of the house which distracted the gun man allowing the two officers to escape uninjured.

Constable Gray then bravely confronted the man and a shot was fired. Constable Crisp saw his colleague Constable Gray slump on his side against the wall of the house. Realising his colleague had been shot Constable Crisp called out to him repeatedly to see if he was OK but he failed to respond.

Constable Crisp immediately called for back up and relayed information back to the control room. He waited until back up arrived and then assisted in moving Constable Gray to a safe location. Sadly he died from his injuries. His killer was found in the rear garden of the property having committed suicide.

The tremendously brave actions of Constable Gray and Crisp succeeded in preventing injury to the hostage and their colleagues.

Paul McKeever, chairman of the Police Federation which organises the Police Bravery Awards, said:

"These officers deserve the highest praise for their courageous and selfless acts and it is a tragedy that PC Richard Gray paid the ultimate price for his heroic actions. Both officers are a credit to the police service and the community they serve. We hope this award goes some way towards recognising their selfless actions."

Editor of The Sun newspaper, Rebekah Wade said:

"These two selfless officers acted with tremendous bravery in an extremely dangerous situation and PC Gray tragically paid the ultimate price with his life. Their heroic actions deserve the very highest praise and this award is a fitting recognition of the risks they took in the fight against crime. PCs Crisp and his fallen colleague PC Gray are very worthy winners of this year's Police Bravery Award."

The annual awards are organised by the Police Federation of England and Wales and sponsored by The Sun Newspaper.

Return to news menu