A brave Metropolitan Police officer has been honoured with a Commissioner’s High Commendation for his remarkable fearlessness while being beaten by a man who was armed with a machete.
PC Stuart Outten was one of three serving officers recognised for their efforts at a ceremony held at New Scotland Yard on Wednesday, 26 August.
PC Outten was on a night shift and patrolling in a marked police van in Leyton, east London, in August 2019 when he indicated for a van with no insurance to pull over.
Initially, the driver of the van refused to stop and continued to make off from officers.
When the driver of the van eventually came to a stop, he exited his vehicle. He motioned towards the officers, shouting and swearing at them without having even spoken to the officers about the reason for the stop.
He then got back into his van and attempted to drive off again, but was stopped from doing so by PC Outten.
As PC Outten prevented the male from getting back behind the wheel of his vehicle, he lashed out, punching PC Outten twice in the face before picking up a 2ft machete that was in his car and attacking PC Outten with it.
Despite suffering severe injuries to his head and arm, PC Outten refused to give up and continued to struggle with his attacker.
PC Outten lost his footing and fell to the ground at which point his attacker stood over him, ready to unleash more blows on the officer as he fought for his life.
PC Outten was able to discharge his taser, but the first shot failed to immobilise his attacker. The second shot was successful, and the suspect fell to the ground.
PC Outten then radioed for urgent assistance and told his control room that he had been attacked by a male who was armed with a machete.
By this point, some members of the public, having seen what had happened, tried to help PC Outten by stemming the flow of blood from his head.
PC Outten was rushed to a hospital and treated for his injuries, which included six deep wounds to the head with multiple associated fractures to the skull, and two wounds to the lower part of his right arm with numerous fractures of the fingers.
Despite receiving life-changing injuries in the attack, PC Outten has returned to work and is progressing towards returning to full duties.
His attacker – Mohammed Rodwan – was found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent following a trial and was sentenced to 16 years’ imprisonment and a further three years on extended licence.
PC Outten said:
“I will never forget what happened that night, but I would never let it stop me doing the job I love.
“Luckily, my training kicked in, and thankfully the Taser was effective the second time.
“I have had a huge amount of support both internally and from members of the public and I am honoured to have now received this commendation – it means a huge amount.”
Acting North East BCU commander, Superintendent Waheed Khan, said:
“This was a frenzied and brutal attack on an officer who demonstrated incredible bravery and professionalism on the night of the incident.
“His determination in returning to work has been remarkable and London is lucky he is back on our streets. He is a truly deserving recipient of this award.”
A former officer, who relentlessly pursued an armed suspect was also awarded a Commissioner’s Commendation – more than 30 years on from the incident.
In the summer of 1982, former Detective Constable Steve Harvey was one of a team of officers who identified two known suspects in Peckham.
When the officers approached, one of the men drew a gun from his waistband and threw it to the ground, while the other – a career criminal with a long history of violent offending – fled the scene.
As DC Harvey pursued him through the nearby housing estate, on his own without a radio, the suspect discarded a knife from his possession.
With no realistic opportunity to detain him, DC Harvey managed to alert a member of the public and asked him to call 999 and alert them that the suspect was heading towards Old Kent Road.
He then spotted a CID car driving towards him and seeing colleagues approaching, he caught up with the suspect and arrested him.
He was later charged with wounding with intent and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and sentenced to 23 years’ imprisonment.
Several other awards were also handed out at the ceremony:
– Detective Constable Natasha Holing, based on South Area BCU, was awarded a Commissioner’s Commendation and the Royal Humane Society Bronze Medal for bravery, professionalism and determination when entering a burning smoke-filled building and safely evacuating several residents.
On 18 May 2018, DC Holing was one of a number of officers conducting an arrest enquiry in the area of London Road in Norbury, when the team was alerted to a nearby fire.
Upon approaching the premises, they could hear at least one person trapped inside, shouting for help.
The basement flat was full of thick black smoke with the door locked from the inside.
The officers gained entry to the building and cleared every flat over three floors, and despite suffering the effects of smoke inhalation continued evacuating the premises until they were satisfied, everyone had been led to safety.
Amongst those rescued was a man found collapsed in the hallway and several families with small children; in one case, a young baby. No resident was injured.
– PC Allan Parker, based on East Area BCU, was the recipient of the Royal Humane Society Silver Medal and the Police Medal for preventing a distressed 16-year-old stepping out into rush hour traffic in July 2018.
PC Parker was travelling to a training course when he noticed the teenager sitting on the central reservation on the A13 in Essex before stepping out in front of a car, which swerved to miss him.
He immediately stopped in the fast lane to create a barrier and despite the oncoming traffic, managed to detain the boy and move him to the verge before ensuring he got the help he needed.
– Simon Geary and Callum White were awarded NPCC Police Public Bravery Award Gold Medals while Oliver Tonkin and Sharon Bettesworth received NPCC Police Bravery Award Certificates of Commendation.
All four were working as security staff at a music event in Wembley in December 2018 when they noticed a man chasing a car along the road and appearing to point what seemed to be a pistol.
They then witnessed him attempting to reload a cartridge into the barrel and without any thought for their safety, and before the man could pull the trigger, they chased after him and tackled him to the ground.
Together they detained the male pending the arrival of police.
The suspect was charged and pleaded guilty to two firearms offences and was sentenced to five years in prison.
Commissioner Cressida Dick said:
“I am extremely proud to commend these officers and members of the public who acted without a thought for their own safety in order to protect others.
“Their quick thinking, bravery and professionalism is outstanding and I thank them for their selfless actions.”
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