AN UNARMED police officer who quickly confronted a knife-wielding man as he fled the scene of a robbery and assault in Denbigh has been nominated for a prestigious national award.

Constable Gareth Jaggard and two other officers were sent by North Wales Police to the Shell petrol station on Rhyl Road after the force received an alarm call about an ongoing knife-point robbery.

According to an account given by North Wales Police, on the night of April 29 last year PC Jaggard left his vehicle and travelled alone by foot en-route to the scene when he encountered the suspect climbing over a wall from the direction of the petrol station.

PC Jaggard tracked down and confronted the man and, despite facing an armed and potentially violent subject, he did not back down. However the constable did not use physical force, instead stopping the suspect through effective communication. PC Jaggard quickly called for help from his fellow officers and within six minutes of the initial alarm call the offender was arrested.

Due to the overwhelming evidence against the offender, named as 30-year-old Robert Shane Hughes, he entered a guilty plea to robbery at Mold Crown Court and received a six-year sentence and an eight-month sentence for assault and possession of a knife.

Following the incident, the family of the victim who Mr Hughes punched, threatened to stab and left "traumatised", contacted the police's control room thanking the officers for their quick and effective response.

Denbighshire Free Press:

PC Jaggard with Denbigh county councillor Mark Young at the Fletcher Bravery Award ceremony.

North Wales Police recognised PC Jaggard’s actions by awarding him the Fletcher Bravery Award in December last year, and he has now received national recognition after being nominated for the 2019 Police Bravery Awards in London on July 18. The prestigious annual awards ceremony recognises UK police officers who perform outstanding acts of bravery while on or off duty.

PC Jaggard said he “feels a sense of pride” for his actions but that he acted as any policeman would. “I don’t think I have been brave and it’s just what we do as police,” he said. “It’s what the public expect of us and what I would expect as a victim of crime.”

He followed the footsteps of his father, a retired policeman who “likes to hear what I’ve been up to in work and what it’s like now”. However PC Jaggard’s wife, while “really proud”, “tries to block out of her mind what we have to deal with in work otherwise she would be constantly worried”.

“I’m looking forward to hearing the stories of the other recipients,” PC Jaggard added. “Hearing what police officers are doing around the country day in day out, some of whom getting injured and assaulted, makes you feel proud to be part of this team.”

Mark Young, Denbighshire County Council cabinet member for safer communities, whose ward is Denbigh Lower, said that PC Jaggard “is already a winner to the people of Denbigh and Wales”, adding: “To chase a robber at night knowing he was armed and then successfully arrest him, plus find the weapon, is beyond bravery and we should all salute PC Jaggard.”