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PC Stephen Fletcher on bravery award

PC Stephen Fletcher talks about the moment he and his fellow officer tried to aid a member of the public, who eventually managed to escape, after a petrol bomb was thrown at the driver's car and burst into flames. He says they did not think about the danger they were in at the time.

The pair were awarded with a Police Bravery Award by the Police Federation after a masked gang of around 40 people targeted their patrol car with petrol bombs and an axe during the riots in Coventry in 2011.


Brave officers were viciously attacked

West Midlands Police officers, PCs Stephen Fletcher and Rory Stuart-Knill, who were awarded a national honour by the Police Federation last night, were put in serious danger when they were targeted by a masked gang in Coventry in 2011.

The two, who were wearing plain clothes in a marked police car, were without standard protective kit when a group of around 40 people began to launch an attack on their patrol car.

The gang launched petrol bombs at a van and a car parked on the roadside before turning their attention to the officers.

Their vehicle was hit with numerous missiles and two petrol bombs, one of which exploded near the passenger door and the other towards the front of the car.

As the two attempted to escape, fearing for their lives, a man also approached the vehicle and smashed an axe through the rear windscreen.

The group soon retreated back to a parkland area but two of the offenders were later stopped by the heroic officers after a car attempting to the leave the scene was found to be carrying two men that PCs Fletcher and Stuart-Knill recognised from the scene.

When the doors of the car were opened the officers could smell petrol and smoke. The men were both arrested, despite one violently resisting.

Hero officers receive bravery awards

Two West Midlands Police officers, who confronted a masked petrol bomb gang, have had their efforts recognised with a national bravery award from the Police Federation.

PCs Stephen Fletcher and Rory Stuart-Knill receiving their award Credit: ITV News Central

The prestigious award, was received by PCs Stephen Fletcher and Rory Stuart-Knill after they were set upon during the riots in 2011 while patrolling Coventry in a marked police car.

The pair were confronted by a group of around 40 hooded and masked men who started throwing missiles.

The officers responded to reports of people in a car wearing facemasks Credit: West Midlands Police

After their vehicle was barraged with petrol bombs and an axe they eventually managed to escape before arresting two men seen leaving the scene of the incident, who the officers recognised from the group.

Thousands attend police protest in London

ITV Central follow police protest to London Credit: ITV Central
Gathering crowds for police protests Credit: ITV Central
ITV Central follow police protest to London Credit: ITV Central

Some 20,000 officers from 43 police forces across England and Wales, including the Midlands, are expected to attend protests in London today.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper says the numbers of people attending demonstrates the concern that many officers are feeling.