A COURAGEOUS police officer who tackled a knife-wielding shoplifter in a town centre shop in front of horrified onlookers has been awarded for her actions.
PC Andrea Dancer received a certificate of commendation from Staffordshire Police chief superintendent Jon Drake at an awards evening last night for her quick-thinking actions during the incident on October 31, 2012, when she was off-duty
PC Dancer was sitting in a restaurant in Middleway Retail Park, in the centre of Burton, when she spotted staff from the nearby DW Sports shop had detained a man near to the main entrance.
The staff led the man back into the store and up the escalator, disappearing out of sight.
It was at that point PC Dancer decided to check that everything was OK.
When she got in the store the man was pointing a small knife towards staff members who were telling him to ‘put it down’.
Chief supt Drake said: “PC Dancer immediately walked towards the man producing her warrant card and shouted ‘I’m a police officer, put the knife down’.
“PC Dancer grabbed his right arm, pushing it down and told him to drop the knife and get on the floor.
“The man eventually dropped the knife and PC Dancer took him to the floor and restrained him while awaiting the arrival of other police officers.
“Throughout this time PC Dancer’s concern was the safety of other members of the public, as the store was busy with families shopping during half-term.
“PC Dancer had to wait several minutes for patrols to attend, unsure as to whether the man had any further weapons.”
The offender was later taken into custody and charged with two counts of theft and one of having a bladed article in a public place. He was sentenced to four months in prison.
“It is my pleasure to report on the courageous action that PC Dancer took wile off duty,” chief supt Drake added.
PC Dancer received her award at a ceremony last night at Staffordshire Police headquarters.