Onesie officers pick up Chief Constable's Commendation for off-duty arrest
Two police officers who made national news by tackling a violent suspect while dressed in animal onesies have received a top award in recognition of their bravery.
PCs Tracy Griffin and Terri Cave were picking up drinks and nibbles from supermarket in Coventry ahead of a friend’s get-together last March when they spotted a man threatening women inside.
Knowing they didn’t have their personal protective equipment with them, the pair got a shop worker to call 999. They then stood with one of the victims – who was clearly shaken – and kept a close eye on the man while waiting for their uniformed colleagues to arrive.
But when his behaviour became more aggressive and he began threatening to kill one of the victims, chasing her onto a bus, PCs Griffin and Cave decided to step in – despite being dressed in monkey and zebra costumes.
Fearing he had a weapon, they challenged the suspect outside the Co-op on Ansty Road which led to him running into a busy road, where, without any concern for their own safety, they grappled with him on the ground.
Thankfully, help was just moments away and other officers arrived within six minutes to arrest the man and take him in to police custody on suspicion of public order offences.
But rather than carrying on to their party, the two PCs, who are based in Solihull, spent the rest of the evening at a local police station writing up their statements about what happened.
When their colleagues found out about the arrest, they tweeted from @SolihullPolice: “Man threatening to kill people didn't expect to be wrestled to the ground by our off-duty officer in a zebra onesie. We go that extra mile.”
The photograph of them in their onesies went viral across the internet and soon attracted local and national media attention.
Nominating them for an award, their manager described their actions at the time as “brave in the extreme” and “in accordance with the highest traditions of British policing”.
At a ceremony at Tally Ho! In Edgbaston last night (Tuesday 29 July) they picked up a Chief Constable’s Commendation from CC Chris Sims in front of family, friends and colleagues – in official police uniform.
Chief Superintendent Alex Murray, from Solihull Police, said: “There was a lot of interest in this particular case for obvious reasons but, joking apart, PCs Griffin and Cave were faced with a very dangerous man in difficult circumstances and they stepped up to the plate.
“Let’s not lose focus on the risk they exposed themselves to, without any protection – in tackling this man. Whether they were in fancy dress or not – the fact is they chose to put a member of the public’s safety above their own and then cancelled their night out to make sure a professional job was done.”