Brave officers to be honoured at national awards ceremony

Two South Wales Police officers are off to the Police Bravery Awards ceremony this week after being nominated for the “calm and selfless” way they dealt with a traumatic situation when called out to a report of a man who was threatening to kill himself with a knife.

PCs Brian Cooper and Ryan Morgan will join fellow nominees from  forces across England and Wales at the event in London on Thursday (9 December).

The pair responded to a report on 26 September 2019 involving a suicidal male having locked himself into a bathroom at an address in Swansea.

When they forced the door open they were confronted by the sight of an agitated man, stripped to the waist and sitting in the bath, repeatedly stabbing himself to the torso with a knife.

They tried again to engage with him, to no avail, and footage from the officers’ body-worn video (BWV) shows PC Cooper attempt to take the knife from him.

As this was unsuccessful and the man continued to stab himself, PC Morgan deployed his Taser. The video camera footage shows the man jump up and continue to self-harm, with a significant amount of blood now showing, and the Taser was deployed again.

This time the man slumped in the corner of the bath and was approached by PC Cooper who took the knife. The man’s wounds were bleeding significantly and he remained non-compliant, screaming hysterically.

As the officers attempted to tend to the man’s injuries, he tried to bite them. However, the evidence shows both PCs Cooper and Morgan displaying significant control and empathy as they restrained the man while also administering first aid.

Steve Treharne, chair of South Wales Police Federation which nominated the officers for the bravery awards, said the BWV evidence makes clear what a “traumatic and challenging incident” the officers were dealing with.

"Taking the decision to enter the bathroom in the first instance, without knowing what they would be faced with, was essential in helping the man,” said Steve.

“When met with the sight of him repeatedly stabbing himself, both officers acted selflessly in dealing with the situation. PC Cooper showed significant bravery by approaching the male while he was still armed with a knife.

“Having removed the knife,  and despite him still resisting, the officers continued to administer first aid and remained calm even when he was trying to bite them.

“It is my view that, faced with this situation, others may have frozen or fled from dealing with it, which would have put the man’s life at significant risk. However, their dynamic response in this difficult and challenging situation was clearly a contributing factor in saving his life.”