Bravery award after father stops £35,000 Securicor van robbery

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A MAN who stopped a £35,000 robbery has been given a bravery award.

Gene Gill saw a man run up to a Securicor security guard and grab hold of the cash box he was carrying.

With little thought for his own safety, the 50-year-old ran over to help the security guard who was being attacked on the ground.

As the father-of-two tried to get him off, a second robber came over and punched him three times in the face.

But his actions were enough to stop the criminals getting away with the cash at the Locks Heath Shopping Centre.

Now Mr Gill of Woodrush Crescent, Locks Heath, has received a bravery award at Hampshire Constabulary's annual Fareham District Awards.

He said: 'I saw someone being beaten up so I just waded in.

'I didn't realise who the guy was that was being attacked or what he was. It was all over in a matter of seconds.

'You never know if they're going to have a knife or an iron bar and afterwards I thought I had been a bit stupid, but I didn't think about that at the time - you can't stand back.

'I did get cut across the top of my head and I was knocked out for a split-second.

'I was looked over in the ambulance but they didn't need to take me to hospital.

'It is very nice to be recognised for what was an instinctive reaction on my part.

'I saw someone getting hurt and went to help.'

The awards, held in the council chambers at Fareham Borough Council, recognise the exceptional work of officers and staff, as well as members of the public who have committed acts of extreme bravery and displayed a commitment to helping the community.

This year more than 30 people were honoured.

Fareham district Chief Inspector Glynis Shaw said he was now putting Mr Gill forward for the national award after the incident in March.

He said: 'While we do not encourage members of the public to get involved in potentially dangerous situations, we recognise that sometimes instinct kicks in.

'Mr Gill went above and beyond what is expected of anyone.

‘He demonstrated that he is a truly public spirited individual, and we were extremely pleased to recognise his actions.'

n PCSO Kim Mitchell and PCSO John Payne for organising the information day in Portchester

n PS Jerry Tremellen for organising Marine Watch

n PCSO Graham Stanton for consistent professionalism

n PS Freemantle and PCSO Ann Adams for organising Streetwatch in Fareham

n PC Suzanne Howard for her part in arresting a male who followed a lone woman through Fareham town centre.

n PC Samantha Hockley, PC Helen Mann, PC Lisa Binny, and PS Jerry Tremellen for seizing a large quantity of drugs in Fareham

n PC Helen Mann, PCSO Greg Sharman, and PCSO Marie Harding for pursuing and arresting a male who committed numerous purse thefts

n DC Matt Browne, for pursuing, whilst off-duty, a male who committed numerous purse thefts

n PC Sarah Ball for the exceptionally high detection rate of 88 per cent for crimes investigated over the last year

n PC Tara Magnus, PC Darren Graham and PC Heather Snook, for arresting two females who committed a number of shoplifting offences

n Dave Mackenzie for organising the Fareham Neighbourhood Watch AGM

n PC Paul Roose for his proactive approach to policing

n PC Andrew Lainson for proactive policing, including the arrest of two males who burgled a number of Fareham businesses

n PCSO Linda Coyle, PCSO Tammi Cairley and PCSO Owen Reeves for organising the Whiteley Games

n PC Richard Webb for delivering Central OCU frontline training

n PC Neil Moore for helping a drunken woman and giving evidence at the subsequent inquest

n Anne Stevens for organising the SNAP discos

n Stuart Lancaster for helping police arrest a shoplifting suspect

n Rob Lewis and Alan Smurthwaite for helping police arrest a man who followed a lone woman through Fareham town centre.

n Bradley Young and Jack Liggitt for helping apprehend a male attempting to steal bikes

n PC Michael Ashworth and PC Aby Smith for proactive policing including the arrest of two males who burgled numerous Fareham businesses

n PC Stephanie Wheeler for arresting two females who committed numerous shoplifting offences

n PC Simon Hooley for proactive policing, include stop-checking a Fiesta that turned out to be stolen and identifying a person for cable thefts by their clothing

n Ernest Price for his part in helping police intercept a vehicle being driven by a drunk woman

n PC Tara Magnus received an Assistant Chief Constable's Award for the positive identification and arrest of a male wanted for murder

Member of the public is praised by police for his actions which stopped criminals

by CHRIS BROOM

The News

chris.broom@thenews.co.uk