Award for officers who tackled knife-wielding man at Ilford station

Left-to-right: Sgt Tom Crocombe, PC Sidony Crowther, Insp Steve Morrison and PC James Mace 

Left-to-right: Sgt Tom Crocombe, PC Sidony Crowther, Insp Steve Morrison and PC James Mace - Credit: British Transport Police

Four British Transport Police (BTP) officers who tackled a knife-wielding man at Ilford station have been given an award. 

PC James Mace, PC Sidony Crowther, Insp Steve Morrison and Sgt Tom Crocombe – all based at Stratford – were on patrol outside Ilford station on November 23, 2018

The officers were taking part in a joint operation with the Metropolitan Police when PC Mace was approached by a man holding a bundle of clothes to his chest. 

He asked the officer for the time and, as PC Mace looked at his watch, launched a frenzied attack, producing a knife and stabbing the officer in the head and neck. 

As PC Mace grappled with the man, he called for assistance from his colleagues who were on the other side of the road. 

Insp Morrison drew his Taser in a bid to stop the attack but was unable to get a clear red dot aimed at the man.  

PC Crowther then drew her baton, striking the man on the legs, while Sgt Crocombe deployed his mace. 

Ultimately, it took the strength of all four officers to wrestle the man to the floor and eventually get him under control. 

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Despite losing a large amount of blood, PC Mace’s stab wounds were not serious. 

Last night, September 22, the officers were given a British Transport Police Federation Award of Excellence. 

This year’s ceremony saw recipients from 2020 and 2021 being celebrated, after last year’s event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

PC Mace said of the incident: “It’s definitely opened my eyes about attacks on officers. They can come out of anything and everything, at the beginning of your shift, at the end of your shift.  

Sgt Crocombe said what he and his colleagues did was instinctive.

“If someone is attacking one of your colleagues, you are going to run to help them,” he said. 

“I think the concern for me was separating that someone’s just attacked my friend and then having to turn your police head back on and go outside and protect evidence. 

“It’s happening more and more often, and we have to be there for each other.” 

British Transport Police Federation Chairman Nigel Goodband said PC Mace and his colleagues had shown incredible bravery in dealing with the situation. 

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