North Wales Police officer hailed ‘Happy Valley hero’ after tackling a knife-wielding man in supermarket
An off-duty North Wales Police officer has been hailed a Happy Valley hero after tackling a knife-wielding man in a supermarket and nominated for the National Bravery Awards 2023.
The store manager called PC Catherine Parry, who has been in the force for 20 years, “the real Cathy from Happy Valley” – after the lead character from the iconic BBC television series – for displaying outstanding courage in protecting shoppers and subduing the offender.
PC Parry was shopping in Sainsbury’s in Oswestry in the neighbouring West Mercia force area when the man entered the supermarket with a knife while experiencing a mental health crisis.
She had just paid for her shopping and was waiting for her mother-in-law when the incident unfolded. Her initial sign something was happening was a visibly shaken female cashier before she saw the man aggressively waving a large knife and shouting that he was going to kill people.
Identifying herself as a police officer, she told him to put the knife down. But the man continued to scream and went behind the cigarette counter where he repeatedly stabbed the till so hard it broke the blade.
She kept the man inside the supermarket until West Mercia Police officers arrived to support her and tackle the man to the ground – by which time the store had been evacuated.
Mark Jones, secretary of North Wales Police Federation which nominated PC Parry for the prestigious awards, said: “PC Parry demonstrated how police officers are never truly off-duty and their commitment to serving their communities at all times.
“She saw an incident unfolding and did not hesitate to put herself in harm’s way to protect others, bringing it to a safe conclusion.
“PC Parry is a worthy nominee for the national Police Bravery Awards and deserves to be recognised for her actions.”
North Wales Police Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman said: “Cathy’s quick reactions and undoubted bravery averted what could have been a tragic incident with unthinkable consequences.
“This reinforces the reality that as police officers, we are often called to run towards harm, rather than away.
“Cathy’s selfless actions on that day exemplify our core value of protecting our communities and is further proof that we dedicate ourselves first and foremost to public service.
“I speak for all of my officers and staff in congratulating Cathy on her nomination. We are proud to have her within our ranks.” Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com