PC Ian Dibell gets posthumous Police Bravery Award

Ian Dibell was off duty when he confronted gunman Peter Reeve

A police officer shot dead when he tackled a gunman in the street near his home has posthumously been given a national bravery award.

PC Ian Dibell, 41, was voted as the most courageous officer at the annual Police Bravery Awards, where 13 other officers were also honoured.

They included a PC who dived into a quarry to save a boy from drowning.

Mr Dibell died while trying to stop Peter Reeve, who had fired at a couple in Clacton, Essex, in July last year.

He was selected as the overall winner after officers were nominated for awards by 37 forces across England and Wales.

Other winners were:

  • PC Nathan Jackman and PC Peter Stevens, from Merseyside Police, for tackling a knifeman and saving a victim's life
  • Off-duty PC Sara Widdrington, from North Yorkshire, for tackling a gunman in a supermarket
  • PC Stephen Fletcher and PC Rory Stuart-Knill, from West Midlands, who were attacked by a petrol bomb gang
  • PC Martin Bentley, of Norfolk Police, for chasing a knifeman despite being stabbed
  • PC Alun Morgan from Dyfed Powys, for diving into in a quarry to rescue a boy from drowning
  • PC Nicholas French, from Gloucestershire, for tackling a man armed with a knife and a lawn edger
  • PCs Stephen Barker, Thomas Harding, Shumal Haque, Alastair Hinchliff and Andrew Robb, all of London, for confronting a man armed with a knife in a butcher's shop, ending in three of them being stabbed and one fracturing bones in both hands.

Peter Reeve, 64, had fired shots at his neighbour Trevor Marshall and Mr Marshall's girlfriend, Katarzyna Karolak, and then chased Mr Marshall in his blue Toyota.

PC Dibell, a father-of-two, leaned into the car window to try and grab the gun, and a bullet passed through his hand and into his chest, causing fatal injuries.

The constable had ran back to his house to get his warrant card when he realised a gunman was on the loose, meaning that technically he was on duty when he died.

Mr Reeve took his own life in a churchyard in Writtle, Essex, the next day.

Steve Williams, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: "Officers put others' lives before their own.

"Sadly, as our winner's story highlights, this can have tragic consequences.

"PC Ian Dibell was a valiant team player; his bravery on that fateful day typifies his whole life - always putting others before himself."

Home Secretary Theresa May said: "Ian Dibell's death is a reminder not just of the bravery police officers show on a daily basis, but also the depth of their commitment to public service.

"PC Dibell was off duty when he stepped in to help a neighbour in distress. He could have walked away, but he chose to put himself in harm's way.

"His bravery, and that shown by thousands of his colleagues up and down the country, is yet another reminder that we have the best police officers in the world."

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