Federation sends good luck message to national Bravery Awards nominees

South Wales Police Federation chair Phil Walker has sent a good luck message to two of the Force’s officers who have been nominated for a national bravery award.
Firearms officers PCs Luke Francis and James Ruijs, along with colleagues from Gwent Police, risked their own safety in trying to find a knife attacker in a burning flat before rescuing his neighbours.
They have been nominated for their actions for the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) Police Bravery Awards.
Phil said: “Luke and James, and their colleagues from Gwent, are thoroughly deserving of their nomination.
“They acted in the best traditions of policing, putting themselves in harm’s way to track down a suspect and to protect the public.

Bravery and courage

“They acted swiftly and decisively, and demonstrated bravery and courage on so many levels to bring the situation to a satisfactory conclusion. We wish them every success at the ceremony.”
Luke and James were responding to calls on 16 November 2022 that a 32-year-old man with paranoid schizophrenia suspected of stabbing his father with a kitchen knife.
They went to the suspect’s home in Nelson, Caerphilly and were observing the property while other firearms units came to support when they saw smoke coming from an upstairs flat window.
Worried for the safety of anyone inside the officers, now accompanied by an anonymous officer from Gwent Police, entered the flat, which was heavily engulfed in flames and thick smoke from a burning mattress in the bedroom.
The officers made a number of attempts to enter the bedrooms to check if anyone was trapped, but were fought back by the increasing intensity of the flames and dense smoke.


They tried to control the blaze using fire extinguishers but eventually had to withdraw from the property.
Meanwhile, due to the threat of the fire spreading, Sergeant Geraint Hopkins and PC Ashley Joseph, of Gwent Police, carried out searches of adjacent properties and evacuated two people and a dog.
At the same time, work by the Force control room and a negotiator had resulted in a phone call with the suspect, who was nearby and hiding.
The suspect agreed to give himself up and was arrested for grievous bodily harm and arson with intent to endanger life.
Phil will be representing South Wales Police Federation at the awards – which take place in London on 11 July – along with branch secretary Mike George, and they will be joined by Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan.