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Drama at Indian restaurant for off duty police officers in Surrey

Off duty officers disarm man Credit: Surrey Police

A man who wielded a screwdriver at customers in a restaurant is behind bars for ten months after off-duty Surrey Police officers disarmed him.

Roads Policing officer PC Ian Nash and his wife Detective Constable Gemma Nash from Staines CID were enjoying a meal at Raj Cuisine in The Broadway, Woodham, when the incident happened.

They heard screams from the bar area of the restaurant at 10.15pm where Nicholas James Wilkins, of no fixed abode, had assaulted a customer with a screwdriver.

The duo leapt to action believing he had a knife and together disarmed the 46-year-old.

Head of Operations on the Northern Division Superintendent Chris Moon praised their actions.

"This story typifies the commitment our officers have to keeping the public safe, be it on or off-duty. They put themselves in harm's way believing this man had a knife, without any of the normal protective equipment frontline officers have.”

PC Nash said: "We were having a meal with our backs turned to the bar area and we heard someone shout ‘drop the knife'. That's a sentence you can't ignore – you feel compelled to get up and do something to prevent anyone coming to any harm. We had no idea of how serious it was going to be. It's just instinct; you just do what you've got to do.”

DC Nash added: "There were a couple of people there holding him. I could see he had a handle of something and I thought it was a knife too. I was thinking ‘this could go horribly wrong – we have to quickly get that knife off him'. It was quite handy having Ian there. I knew that he knew what to do and was conflict trained. I was repeatedly shouting for the man to drop it and Ian was physically trying to get it off him. Once we had him down outside we called 999, that was when I realised it was a long screwdriver.”

Wilkins was ordered to pay the victim of the assault £150 in compensation when he was sentenced at Redhill Magistrates Court where he had pleaded guilty to common assault and possession of an offensive weapon.

He was also guilty of breaching bail conditions not to be drunk in a public place, or without reasonable excuse, cause harassment, alarm and distress to members of the public, which were imposed on him at Staines Magistrates Court on January 21.

AWE marks 60 years of Apprenticeships

Apprentices in the 1950s Credit: AWE

AWE, the Atomic Weapons Establishment is preparing to celebrate national apprenticeship week. The company has a long tradition of running a apprenticeship schemes.

The event is part of the eighth annual National Apprenticeship Week, which is co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service and designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the economy.

AWE has had been running apprenticeship schemes for over 60 years. Currently, 11% of its workforce is made up of former apprentices.

Rob Cottrell, AWE’s Skills Academy Manager, said: “Apprenticeships allow AWE to grow its own talent pool by developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce and many of our former apprentices have worked their way up through the company to senior leadership positions.”

Apprentices today Credit: AWE

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Man dies after crash involving lorry on A27

A man who was injured in a crash on the A27 has died from his injuries.

At about 11.30am a 41 tonne container lorry carrying aluminium overturned onto its side after it was in collision with a car.

It happened on the westbound carriageway outside Folkington Manor between Polegate and Drusillas roundabout.

One other vehicle, a scaffolding lorry, sustained minor damage.

The driver of the container lorry was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton to be treated for serious but not life-threatening injuries.

Rescue services released the driver of the car, who was its sole occupant, but sadly he was confirmed dead at the scene.

He is believed to be a man in his late forties who does not come from Sussex. Next of kin are being contacted.

"The A27 remains closed between Drusillas and Polegate until further notice and we appreciate the patience of drivers in following the diversions which are in place, but also in avoiding the area altogether if possible. "Dealing with the rescue, recovery, clearance of the road and investigation is complex and difficult, but we do hope to have the road open again this evening."

– Sgt Dan Pitcher

The diversion route is, eastbound, from Lewes up to Ringmer and across to the A22, then down the A22 to Polegate.

The westbound route is the same route reversed.

Police stress that the A26 to and from Newhaven is still open, as is the A259 across the coast.

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Man being treated as suspect after nail salon fire

The fire broke out at the Hollywood Nails salon Credit: ITV Meridian

A 50-year-old man critically injured in a fire at a nail salon is being treated as a suspect, police have confirmed.

A 21-year-old woman and a five-month-old baby are still in hospital.

The baby boy is in critical condition and has life changing injuries.

The fire broke out yesterday at Hollywood Nails salon in the High Street.

"While we have ruled out the involvement of anyone else in this incident, the information we have so far has led us to treat the man as a suspect in an assault investigation.

"He has not been arrested as he remains critically ill in hospital.

"We are working with colleagues from the fire service along with forensic and crime scene investigators to establish the circumstances and hope to be able to speak to the woman soon. "Once the forensic and crime scene work is completed, we will be undertaking a search of the property.

"There has been an enormous amount of local speculation and officers are now undertaking local enquiries to discover the true facts of the incident. We would like to hear from anyone who may have witnessed anything in the time leading up to the fire.

"The man and woman are understood to be of Vietnamese origin and may have been in the street beforehand.

"If they were and you saw them, you have any CCTV from around the shop or any other information relating to the incident, please email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call 101 quoting Operation Arizona. "I anticipate that we will remain at the property for another day or so while our investigations at the scene are completed and I would like to thank the local community for their patience and support while this continues."

– Det Ch Insp Mark O'Brien
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