A dangerous situation at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester was averted thanks to the bravery and quick-thinking of hospital security staff and two Sussex Police officers.

On April 4, 2022, PC Amy Hanley and PC Matt Dodd were at the hospital, guarding a prisoner, when they became aware of a man wielding a knife near the A&E department.

The man had attended the hospital with the intention of causing harm to NHS staff and the public.

He initially engaged with security, producing a large knife and making threats.

Despite security's attempts to contain him, he managed to escape to the ambulance bay, where he threatened paramedics with the knife while ranting about his hatred for the NHS.

One security guard went inside the hospital and sought assistance from PC Hanley and PC Dodd.

After arranging for security to stay with the prisoner, the officers rushed to deal with the escalating situation.

The knife-wielding man had reached the front doors of the A&E department and attempted to enter.

A security guard followed him, attempting to engage from a distance.

The Argus: PC Amy HanleyPC Amy Hanley (Image: Sussex Police Federation)

The man approached security with the knif, shouting: “I’m going to stab everyone in A&E, I’m going to kill them all, I’m going to do it now.”

As he stepped into the A&E reception, filled with members of the public, officers caught up with the man.

PC Hanley drew her Taser and positioned herself to herd the man towards a wall, away from the public.

PC Dodd provided backup and support.

They repeatedly shouted at the man to drop the knife, but he refused, leading PC Hanley to use the Taser, subduing him.

With the man on the floor, the officers swiftly secured him and ensured the knife was no longer a threat.

PC Dodd said: “We didn’t have time to think about what we may be walking into, we had to rely on our own intuition and training to bring this matter to a safe conclusion, which thankfully we did.”

Their actions were commended by the Police Federation, who nominated them for a National Police Bravery Award.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: "While PCs Hanley and Dodd weren’t named as the overall winners at the ceremony last night (Thursday, July 13) they are still winners in our eyes."

The Argus: PC Matt DoddPC Matt Dodd (Image: Sussex Police Federation)

Sussex Police Federation Chair Daren Egan emphasized the gravity of the situation and praised the two officers' courage.

He said: “If it wasn’t for Amy and Matt bravely walking into unknown danger, this man could have caused serious injury to NHS staff or members of the public. This could have been a tragic incident, but the officers acted quickly and professionally to detain the man in a safe manner. I commend them on their courageous actions.”