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Issue 304 – National award for “outstanding bravery”

An extraordinary act of bravery by Frome man Derek Armiger, who disarmed a robber who held up a convenience store in the town, has earned him one of just seven national Police Public Bravery Awards from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).

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.
Last Wednesday, Derek travelled to Manchester to pick up the gold award.
Honorary awards secretary, Chief Constable Meredydd Hughes of South Yorkshire Police said, “Each and every day members of the public put themselves at risk to help others in need. These awards showcase some extraordinary stories of bravery and many selfless acts of kindness and we are delighted to be honouring these very brave people.
“These awards give ACPO the opportunity to formally thank and acknowledge those public-spirited people who have assisted the police in fighting crime in the community. Because of their bravery, lives have been saved and criminals have been brought to justice. We commend and thank them.”
Avon & Somerset Police’s deputy chief constable Rob Beckley commented, “I am delighted that Derek’s outstanding bravery has been recognised at such a prestigious event.
“In a situation of danger like the one faced by Derek, 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, commend Derek for his courage and swift actions.
“To be one of only seven ‘gold award’ winners nationally is a huge and much-deserved accolade.”

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