Awards for Ilkley officers who faced raiders on Burley Post Office

PCSO Darrin Thompson receiving his award from West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Mark Gilmore

PC Tim Brown, right, receiving his award from West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Mark Gilmore

First published in Local news Wharfedale Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A police constable and police community support officer (PCSO) have been commended for their role in tackling robbers who struck at a Wharfedale post office.

PC Tim Brown and PCSO Darrin Thompson, based at Ilkley police station, were both injured as they grappled with hammer-wielding attackers during the raid on Burley-in-Wharfedale Post Office, Station Road, last April, and succeeded in capturing one of the robbers.

The two officers have been presented with Chief Constable’s Commendations in recognition of their actions in tackling the robbers.

Members of the public were also commended by West Yorkshire Police, in the awards ceremony at Wakefield in February, for flagging down police and tackling the robbers.

PC Brown and PCSO Thompson were in a car flagged down in Burley by concerned member of the public, Marcus McLeod, on April 15 last year.

When he went into the shop, PCSO Thompson was confronted by two men in balaclavas, one wielding a sledgehammer, who were in the process of robbing the post office.

PCSO Thompson took hold of one of the men, who tried to strike him with the sledge hammer. As he continued to grapple with the man, the struggle spilled out into the street.

The second suspect, brandishing a lump hammer, attacked PCSO Thompson, repeatedly striking him, in an attempt to free his accomplice.

Mr McLeod rushed in and rugby tackled one man.

Both men broke free and started to make toward a getaway car parked nearby, the getaway driver revving the engine loudly.

PC Brown grabbed the man with the lump hammer and grappled him to the ground, where he and PCSO Thomson arrested and handcuffed him.

Another public spirited person, who asked not be named, attempted to stop the man with the sledgehammer getting into the getaway car, but was knocked to the ground by the car as it drove away.

The two officers, Mr McLeod and the other man all suffered injuries as a result of the incident – but fortunately there were no serious injuries, said West Yorkshire Police.

West Yorkshire Police said the suspect arrested at the scene had a long history of committing violent robberies. The second suspect, later identified and arrested, also has previous convictions for robbery.

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