Two police officers who bravely fought a man lunging at them with a hunting knife have been shortlisted for an award.

PC Daniel Brand and PC Jamie Cook were attending a concern for safety in plain clothes when the incident took place.

The pair arrived at a high rise flat in Southend amid concerns for the safety of a child living at an address where drug dealing was taking place.

They were unable to gain access to the property in question and instead approached a man nearby to ask if he lived there.

The man became angry and began shouting at the officers, who attempted to calm him down.

He gave the officers his phone to prove he was not involved in drug dealing, but a message on the phone suggested he was linked to a known county drug line.

The officers tried to arrest him but after a struggle, the man then pulled out a 35cm hunting knife with a serrated blade and thrashed it at the officers.

The pair brought the man to the ground and attempted to disarm him but he continued to try to slash them with the blade.

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The officers were eventually able to disarm him unharmed before arresting him.

During a search of the man, they then found a large quantity of class A drugs.

A police colleague said: “The officers genuinely believed they were going to be stabbed. They made dynamic risk assessments and taking into account the safety of the public, the suspect’s safety and their own, they took decisive action.

“It is a miracle that neither officer received significant life-threatening injuries as a result and it is a credit to their training that they were prepared for such an incident. Both officers were left shaken up and the incident brought home the risks associated with their job - especially as they both have young families. PC Brand and PC Cook are a credit to themselves and the force.

“I am very proud of these officers. This is an excellent example of how situations that initially seem to be one thing can very quickly escalate into something altogether different. The incident lasted a matter of minutes, however I’m sure it would have felt a lot longer to these brave officers.”

The two officers have been nominated for The Essex Police Federation Bravery Awards following their actions back in April 2019.

Laura Heggie, Chair of Essex Police Federation, added: “Daniel and Jamie exemplify the very best of policing in Essex. They approached danger where others would walk away, taking action that protected the public from danger.

“This incident just goes to show there is no such thing as a routine call in policing – things can escalate very quickly. This pair deserve to be praised for their courage and should feel very proud of the job that they did that day and do every day.”

The Essex Police Federation Bravery Awards – which will combine celebrating the 2020 and 2021 winners – will take place later this month.