Officer who disarmed Bradford city centre gunman is nominated for bravery award (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Officer who disarmed Bradford city centre gunman is nominated for bravery award
A courageous Bradford bobby, who disarmed a gunman on a busy street, is in the running for a national bravery award.
Inspector Richard Baildon has been nominated for the brave officer category in the annual Police Bravery Awards.
The winner will be announced in London next month.
The officer disarmed a 20-year-old man who was pointing a handgun at indiscriminate targets as he wandered through Bradford city centre in March last year.
CCTV footage captured the suspect making his way across Centenary Square with what appeared to be a large black handgun, which he waved in the direction of a car and aimed at a shop window.
Insp Baildon was then seen to run at the suspect in Great Horton Road, grab him and disarm him.
The weapon was later found to be an imitation, but at the time Insp Baildon said there was no way of knowing whether it was real or not.
Insp Baildon, who is now the Neighbourhood Policing Team inspector for Manningham and Toller, was commended for his bravery by a crown court judge, and earlier this year he received a bravery award from his own Force.
Now he could earn national recognition. Insp Baildon, a 43-year-old married father-of-two, said yesterday: “I was very surprised to be nominated. It is really nice to be recognised by your colleagues nationally for anything, but especially for bravery.
“I am proud, but I am even more proud of my colleagues and the work they do every day.”
Insp Baildon revealed it was the second time he had disarmed a gunman.
“I took a gun off somebody who was roaming about John Street market in Bradford when I was a police constable in 2001.
“My family is really pleased that I have been nominated for the award – but they have asked me not to do it again.
“This is definitely the highlight of my career.
“At the time my main concern was for the safety of the public. But it was something any police officer would have done. I was just doing my job.”
Jon Christopher, chairman of West Yorkshire Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, said: “The actions of Inspector Baildon show bravery beyond recognition. He was not to know the firearm was not real.
“He is a winner anyway for his actions, but if he was to win the national award it would be a timely boost for the West Yorkshire Force. It is good for the public to know we have officers out there who will go the extra mile and put themselves in danger on a daily basis.”
Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Jawaid Akhtar said: “West Yorkshire Police was delighted to award Inspector Richard Baildon its Excel Bravery Award earlier this year.
“We are even more delighted that Richard is now to be considered for the Police Bravery Award and wish him well and the best of luck for both the regional and national awards next month.
“Regardless of whether he wins or not, Richard has already demonstrated that he and other police officers put themselves at great risk every day to keep the public safe and make them feel safe.”