Police officer given bravery award for saving lives in St Albans knife attack

PC Carl Callan.

PC Carl Callan. - Credit: Archant

An unarmed police officer who protected members of the public from a knife-wielding attacker in St Albans has been commended for his bravery.

PC Carl Callan received a National Police Bravery Award in a ceremony in London on Thursday, July 13. PC Callan, who at the time of the incident was part of the Intervention and Response Team, was on patrol on June 2, 2015 when a call came in saying that a man was armed with a knife in Hatfield Road.

Unarmed officers were told to intervene only if lives were in danger. When PC Callan arrived, the knifeman was attacking people and had already tried to stab one person in the chest, but was unsuccessful due to the victim’s padded coat.

In a split second, PC Callan decided to intervene. With the help of members of the public he detained the man, who was found to be carrying a number of knives, until firearms officers arrived.

No members of the public were injured during the incident and the offender, Anthony Zambra of Watford Road, was sentenced to three years in prison.

PC Callan, who now works for the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit, said: “I am extremely honoured to have been a finalist at the National Police Bravery Awards. I was just doing the job I am trained to do and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

“I’m so proud to be a police officer and I am overwhelmed to receive this recognition.”

Most Read

PC Callan was nominated for the award by Hertfordshire Police Federation Secretary Vojislav Mihailovic.

Mr Mihailovic said: “Without the immediate intervention of PC Callan it is truly believed that many more members of the public would have suffered serious or possibly fatal injuries.

“PC Callan was unarmed other than his personal protection equipment (PPE) and showed little regard for his own safety but felt that immediate intervention was necessary to apprehend the man.

“He knew the threat and risk posed to him but nonetheless tackled the offender.

“This was outstanding bravery and he used his training and experience to excellent effort.

“It is without doubt the fact that PC Callan prevented the serious injury, or death, of members of the public or indeed the offender himself.”