Thames Valley Police’s chief constable has awarded three brave officers for detaining an armed man in Reading.

Chief Constable Jason Hogg presented PCs Tom Blount, Sarah Clark and Oliver Smith with commendations at a ceremony at Cotswolds Hotel and Spa in Chipping Norton on 24 January.

PC Blount said: “It's a great honour to receive a commendation.

“Going to this incident was no different to any other that I attend daily and it shows that anything can happen in this job at a moment’s notice.

“That we were able to safely disarm and contain a volatile man and all make it home safely was testament to the professionalism of my colleagues and wider team.”

At around 5am on 16 August 2022, a woman called 999 for help with her son who, on taking an excessive amount of cocaine and heroin, had become violent and aggressive towards his family in Reading.

PCs Blount, Clark and Smith, who were all relatively new in service but notably PCs Blount and Clark had only just finished their initial tutorship, attended.

The mother, who was clearly distressed, met them, while there were other members of the family present, all of whom were clearly worried for their relative.

PC Clark stayed with the mother downstairs while PCs Blount and Smith went to speak with the man upstairs.

They called through the door to announce themselves but the man said he was naked and would get dressed.

After a reasonable amount of time, PC Blount said that they were coming in.

On entering, the officers found the man was in fact dressed and he turned his back on the officers, seemingly to buckle his belt.

PC Blount repeatedly asked him to show his hands and turn around, which he did suddenly, brandishing a firearm.

He pointed it at PC Blount and twice threatened to shoot him.

PC Blount shouted to his colleagues that the man had a firearm but rather than flee, the officers remained calm, professional, and acted quickly to take control of the man and remove the firearm from him.

PC Clark had the presence of mind to open wide the front door to allow for access and egress, ensuring the family’s safety and to allow for police colleagues to gain entry and assist.

She too ran upstairs to help her two colleagues gain control of the man who was actively resisting arrest.

Ultimately, he was arrested and, following an investigation by Reading CID, he was convicted of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence in November 2022.

PC Clark added: “I am very proud to receive this award.

“In my daily role, no job is the same, however, sometimes some incidents are not what you expect and disarming a man with a firearm was not what we expected that morning.

“We are not expected to deal with this in our daily role and the professionalism and courage shown by all involved makes this job worthwhile.”