1. ITV Report

Bravery award for off-duty North Yorkshire officer

Brave off duty officer Sara Widdrington Photo: North Yorkshire police

A North Yorkshire police officer who disarmed a would-be robber carrying a gun during a trip to the supermarket has been nominated for a national Police Bravery Award.

Off-duty PC Sara Widdrington was with her son shopping at Tesco on Westwood in Scarborough in November 2012. While at the checkout she noticed a man holding a black pistol and pointing it towards the cashier who was serving her. The man had a blank expression on his face and the terrified cashier looked at PC Widdrington before running away.

With the store busy with customers, PC Widdrington feared for the safety of those around her and ran around the checkout area and grabbed the man’s left hand, which was holding the pistol. She managed to lower his arm so the gun was now pointing to the ground. She asked the man to drop the gun but he replied: “No, get off, it’s loaded.”

As PC Widdrington held the man’s arm, she could tell the gun was heavier than a ‘BB’ gun and told her son to leave the shop. She then quietly asked a member of staff to call the police. As the customers looked on, frozen with fear, the man asked for money.

To buy time, PC Widdrington told the man she would get him money and food and continued to restrain him for three or four minutes until a male member of staff walked up behind the man. He silently mouthed “shall we get him down” and PC Widdrington mouthed “yes”. She then kicked the man’s legs, taking him to the floor and was able to restrain him until the police arrived.