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Police officers shortlisted for award after stopping man hijacking taxi

Image credit: Leicestershire Police

Two Leicestershire Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) who risked their lives to protect members of the public and police colleagues from being seriously injured have been shortlisted for a national bravery award.

Without consideration for their own safety, PCSOs Jonny Davies and Tim Jones climbed into a hijacked taxi being driven by an aggressive man who it was believed was attempting to escape from police.

Their swift action led to the man being safely arrested and their selfless act is being recognised as part of a national event being held by UNISON and the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) to celebrate 20 years of PCSOs and the huge contribution they make to policing.

The incident occurred while the pair were on duty during the evening of Tuesday 7 June 2022 in Leicester city centre.

They were responding to a call from a man who it was reported was in distress in the area of St Augustine Road.

When they arrived, it is alleged the man attempted to leave the area by hijacking a taxi that was stationary at nearby traffic lights and climbing into the front passenger seat.

Due to the reported aggressive nature of the man, the taxi driver and his paying passenger got out of the car.

As the two PCSOs approached the front doors of the taxi, it is reported the man climbed into the driver’s seat and drove the car forward, colliding with officers in the police vehicle in front - who had arrived to provide backup.

In order to try and prevent the man driving any further, the PCSOs got into the car and took hold of his arms.

It was at this stage it is alleged the man reversed the vehicle over the central reservation, across the other side of the carriageway before colliding at speed with a barrier. The man then drove forward again, still with the PCSOs inside the car, colliding with a tree and a metal fence before stopping next to a bridge close to Bath Lane.

Officers nearby were then able to remove the man from the car.

A 34-year-old man, from Leicester, was arrested in connection with the incident and is currently on police bail.

PCSO Davies said: “It is such an honour to have been put forward for a bravery award. I wouldn’t think twice about stepping forward in a dangerous or difficult situation if it meant ensuring the safety of the public.”

PCSO Jones added: “I feel very proud and honoured to represent the force and Leicestershire PCSO on a national scale. Like Jonny, I wouldn’t think twice about taking the same action if a similar situation arose.”

Temporary Deputy Chief Constable David Sandall, who is accompanying the PCSOs to the event tomorrow, added: “The actions of these dedicated PCSOs undoubtedly prevented this incident turning into a tragedy.

“Despite the challenging situation in the vehicle, they attempted to safely restrain the man and their actions prevented him from injuring any motorists, pedestrians or police colleagues at the scene. They deserve to be recognised for their outstanding quick thinking and bravery.

“It has been 20 years since the Police Reform Act introduced the PCSO role, and they have played an integral part in policing ever since.

“They offer a visible and reassuring presence across our force area, are vital in helping to build strong relationships between the police and the communities we serve, as well as supporting officers in helping to solve crime.

“I’m very proud two of our PCSOs are being recognised at a national event but the force is grateful for the work all our PCSO colleagues continue to do across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.”


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