A knife-man who threatened to harm himself and others in a busy Keighley street was talked into giving up his weapon by a young policeman.

PC Ben Pearson even discarded his baton and belt to gain the trust of the man, who was armed with a 7in-long kitchen knife.

Now the 29-year-old officer, who joined the force just four years ago, has received a commendation for his actions.

PC Pearson -- a former motorcycle salesman -- was on duty with a probationary officer, who had started only two days earlier, at the time of the incident.

They were driving along South Street late one night when they spotted the man walking towards the town centre, brandishing the knife.

PC Pearson pulled up alongside and spoke to the man, who began attacking the car.

While colleagues were alerted via radio, the officer used the vehicle as a block to prevent others getting too close as the man made his way down South Street. "The man stopped and stood on a wall -- he was putting the knife to his own throat and shouting at people," PC Pearson said.

"It was a busy night, with a lot of pedestrians about, but by that point colleagues had set up a cordon to block off the area.

"I got out of the car and spoke to the man. He was in a very irate state and kept shouting at me -- he threatened to stab me -- but I said I just wanted to help him. He wouldn't talk to me while I had the baton, so I discarded that and then my belt.

"Eventually I managed to talk him down from the wall and he put down his knife."

The man was arrested under a section of the Mental Health Act.

Insp Owen West, who was PC Pearson's inspector at the time of the incident, in March, and recommended him for the commendation, said his actions demonstrated a level of maturity and professionalism beyond his limited years' service.

"He controlled the incident -- telling me what was needed -- prevented the man injuring himself and others, safeguarded the young probationer and placed himself in an extremely vulnerable position, confident in his own skills in calming the man," said Insp West.

But PC Pearson, who has just passed an interview to become a traffic officer and is awaiting a placement, is modest about his actions.

He said: "I am honoured to receive the commendation, but I was just doing the job I get paid to do and any colleague would have done the same thing in that situation. I don't see myself as a hero."