Bravery honours for police

Kidderminster Shuttle: DEDICATED: PC Rob Piper, left, receiving his commendation from Supt Kevin Purcell. DEDICATED: PC Rob Piper, left, receiving his commendation from Supt Kevin Purcell.

TWO police officers injured while halting an armed robbery in Kidderminster have received chief constable’s commendations.

PCs Ian Heeks and Jon Townsend were first on the scene of the incident at Tesco Express in Stourbridge Road after residents reported people acting suspiciously.

They smashed the windows of the offenders’ getaway car and leaned inside the vehicle, despite it being driven at speed. PC Heeks sprayed the driver with CS gas, while PC Townsend tried to take the keys.

PC Heeks suffered cuts and bruises after wrestling the driver to the floor and PC Townsend was crushed between the getaway car and the police van, blocking it in, suffering a knee injury from which he is still recovering.

PC Rob Piper, who has since retired, ran to his colleagues’ assistance but was himself knocked over by the car, sustaining grazes, and had to be pulled to safety by a col - league.

Three Wolverhampton men were jailed for a total of 29 years following the incident on June 11 last year.

PC Heeks and PC Townsend were awarded chief constable’s commendations for their bravery and preventing a serious crime.

Sgt Pete Kitosi-Isanga was awarded a superintendent’s commendation for his supervision and co-ordination of the incident, calm and professional approach.PC Piper and PC Kellie Irvine were awarded superintendent’s commendations for their bravery and dedication.

Meanwhile, Det Con Mark Wilding also received a superintendent’s commendation for his work in the case of a man who subjected his pregnant ex- partner to a frenzied knife attack in Kidderminster.

Andre Smith was jailed for 15 years in December after admitting attempted murder.

Det Con Wilding was commended for his investigative ability, the quality of the file he prepared and his ongoing support to the victim.

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