An unarmed Hertfordshire police officer who protected the public from a knifeman in St Albans has been recognised for his courageous actions at the National Police Bravery Awards.
PC Carl Callan was on patrol on June 2, 2015 when a call came in to say a man was in possession of a knife in Hatfield Road, St Albans.
PC Callan arrived to find the offender attacking members of the public with the knife; in fact, he had already tried to stab one person in the chest but had been unsuccessful only due to the victim’s thick padded coat.
In a split second, PC Callan made the decision to intervene without any thought for his own safety and challenged the offender. With the help of members of the public he detained the offender, who was found to be carrying a number of knives, until firearms officers arrived to assist. Fortunately, no members of the public were seriously injured during the incident.
The offender, Anthony Zambra, aged 40, of Watford Road, St Albans, was arrested. He pleaded guilty at St Albans Crown Court to Section 20 GBH, threats to kill and possession of bladed articles and was sentenced to a total of three years imprisonment.
PC Callan said: “I am extremely honoured to have been a finalist at the National Police Bravery Awards. I was just doing the job I am trained to do and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I’m so proud to be a police officer and I am overwhelmed to receive this recognition.”
Hertfordshire Police Federation Secretary Vojislav Mihailovic, who nominated PC Callan for the award, said: “Without the immediate intervention of PC Callan it is truly believed that many more members of the public would have suffered serious or possibly fatal injuries. PC Callan was unarmed other than his Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and showed little regard for his own safety but felt that immediate intervention was necessary to apprehend the man.
“PC Callan knew the threat and risk posed to him but nonetheless tackled the offender. This was outstanding bravery and he used his training and experience to excellent effect.
“It is without doubt the fact that PC Callan prevented the serious injury, or death, of members of the public or indeed of the offender himself.”
PC Callan was a regional finalist for the South East in the National Police Bravery Wards and received his award at the prestigious event in London yesterday (Thursday, July 13).