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Issue 286 – Have-a-go hero receives prestigious police award

A LOCAL man who single-handedly thwarted an armed robbery in Frome has been applauded by the local police force.

Derek Armiger was invited to Avon and Somerset Police’s annual awards ceremony last week in Taunton, where he received recognition for his courage.
On 18th July 2008, Derek Armiger was outside a convenience store in Frome when he saw a man inside acting suspiciously. Concerned for the welfare of the staff, he decided to enter. On doing so, he was confronted by the offender, who was standing at the shop counter, pointing a handgun at a shop assistant.
The offender then turned the gun on Derek, telling him to leave the shop. As the offender turned the gun back on the shop assistant, Derek lunged forward grabbing hold of the offender’s hand, holding the gun. A struggle ensued and the gun discharged. Derek managed to take the gun from the offender, throwing it on the floor. After a violent struggle, Derek detained the offender in a head lock until the police arrived and arrested him.
As a result of Derek’s brave and selfless actions, the offender was later charged with robbery and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
Deputy Chief Constable Rob Beckley of Avon and Somerset Police told the Frome Times, “Mr Armiger’s award is very well deserved. He risked his own life to protect the lives of others and we are delighted to be able to recognise his bravery by presenting him with a Waley Cohen Award.
“In a situation of danger like the one faced by Mr Armiger we would always advise people to think about their safety first and to contact the police as soon as possible but we would, of course, like to commend Mr Armiger for his courage and swift actions.
“Mr Armiger’s quick thinking could well have prevented harm coming to the shop assistant as well as any other bystanders and also helped to bring the offender to justice.”