Three Essex police officers have been honoured with bravery awards for courageously disarming a distressed man wielding a weapon.

The annual Essex Police Federation Bravery Awards acknowledge acts of bravery by officers.

On May 27, 2022, PCs Emily Stokes and Rosie Daltrey, along with Special Constable Mark Lane, attended a situation involving a man in a mental health crisis in Rayleigh.

PC Daltrey, who was relatively new in service, called the incident "frightening."

She added: "When we first attended he was in his garden, quite calm and collected...but he obviously was quite shocked we were there and didn’t really want us there, but we were explaining: ‘We’re here, we’re going to have a little chat with you, and we just want to make sure you’re okay'."

The man then entered a shed and began handling a gun-like object.

PC Stokes said: "As I’ve looked down to speak on my radio to ask for his checks to come back, to find out who’s in front of me, I’ve heard what I describe to be a gun cock.

"The second the gun cocked I knew that my colleague next to me was unarmed so I drew my Taser."

As he ignored PC Stokes' command, she used her Taser, allowing PC Daltrey and SC Lane to disarm the man and secure the weapon.

SC Lane said: "I hear Emily out in the garden, shouting for the male to put the weapon down, at which point I’ve walked out into the garden and heard Emily shout, ‘Taser, Taser, Taser’, and she Tasered the male.

"And as I’ve gone over, it’s transpired that he’d cocked what we believed at the time to be a viable firearm."

Laura Heggie, chair of the Essex Police Federation, said: "This was a truly terrifying incident, where Emily, Rosie and Mark believed their lives were in danger.

"These officers confronted the threat head-on, showing immense bravery and professionalism.

"They also ensured the man was safely subdued and no one was hurt: we are very proud of their actions."

The officers will attend the Essex Police Federation Bravery Awards on Thursday, May 16.