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Double commendation for cop who tackled axeman

Brave police officer also put his own life at risk by chasing gunman during the same month

21 June, 2018 — By Emily Finch

Officers at the awards ceremony at the British Library

A POLICE constable who tackled both an axeman and a gunman during the course of just one month was rewarded for his bravery with a double commendation.

PC Jack Hardwick, alongside his colleagues Police Sergeant Matt Graves and PC Chris Salmon, ran towards an axeman “with no thought for their own safety” during a patrol of Liverpool Road in July 2016.

The trio had spotted a male wearing a stab-proof vest while carrying a weapon outside St Mary Magdalene Church in Holloway Road.

Speaking to the Tribune, PC Hardwick said: “We approached the man and saw he was holding a red and black handled weapon which was either a sword or an axe. He noticed us at the same time and he legged it. Myself and another colleague chased him directly and another tried to loop round and cut him off.”

The officer, who is just 25 years old, was the first to reach the suspect and managed to detain him. The defendant had thrown the axe behind a grave stone during the chase.

He added: “I did what any officer in that situation would have done. There was no agreement between us officers [to go after the axeman].

“We were just doing our job and I was the faster one and caught him. I don’t have a hero mentality, it happens every day.”

PC Hardwick and the two other officers involved in the arrest were awarded with commendation certificates at a ceremony at the British Library.

He said: “I didn’t know I was down for two awards until I got there on the day. It was a very nice surprise. I’ve never got one before and it was very nice to be recognised for our work.”

A bike chase in Newington Green between PC Hardwick and a suspect who was later found to be carrying a loaded handgun saw the officer net the second commendation. The chase took place just a month before PC Hardwick helped arrest the axeman.

“We had a short chase on bikes. The person in question got off his bike and I saw him post a gun through a door at which point there was a short struggle and I detained him in handcuffs,” he said.

The gun owner had posted his gun through a letterbox and when the door opened PC Hardwick decided to grab the gun while putting his life at risk.

PC Hardwick was praised for his “quick and brave actions” during the ceremony.

Explaining his career choice, he said: “I joined the police straight after university where I studied criminology.

“I had an interest in law but I wanted to be out and about and didn’t want a regular Monday-to-Friday job. It’s a real excitement. Not many of my friends can say they tackled a bloke with an axe and a gun while making a good difference to the community.”

The officer is currently based at Kentish Town police station.


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