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A heroic off-duty Lincolnshire police officer who helped apprehend a murderer has won a national award for his bravery.
PC Steve Denniss was one of 76 officers nominated from 39 police forces in eight regions across England and Wales.
He initially won the regional award for bravery and was tonight, Thursday 14 July, announced the overall winner of the awards hosted by the Police Federation of England and Wales, and sponsored by Police Mutual.
PC Denniss won the national award for being his bravery in apprehending murderer Daniel Boulton, who was jailed for 40 years for double murder and 21 months for an assault on a police officer. Off-duty officer assists in detaining a murderer | Lincolnshire Police (lincs.police.uk)
PC Denniss was walking his dogs near the Hallington entrance at Hubbard’s Hill, Louth, on 1 June, 2021, when he saw a man stood next to a bench in a hooded top who was staring at a member of the public.
PC Denniss immediately realised this man was Daniel Boulton, who was wanted for the murder of Bethany Vincent, 26, and her son Darren, aged 9, known as DJ. Both mum and her son sadly died after they were stabbed at their home in Louth the previous evening.
The off-duty officer dropped his dogs’ leads and approached Boulton, who responded by attacking him by kicking and punching him. Boulton then ran off and PC Denniss chased him, calling an on-duty colleague for back-up at the same time. Boulton then turned back on PC Denniss, pulled out a knife and demanded his phone. It was at this moment, when the two men were facing off, that Boulton stabbed PC Denniss in the leg. Thankfully, the injuries were minor and he was later treated by ambulance crews.
Despite his injury, PC Denniss continued to chase Boulton before other officers arrived at Hubbard’s Hills and were guided towards Boulton’s location. Pc Denniss then assisted in clearing the public from the area for their safety. Boulton was tasered and arrested.
Speaking straight after the ceremony, PC Denniss said: "I am very privileged to have been in a room with such fantastic colleagues that have done some awesome work and to be chosen as the overall winner. I am still in shock."
Chief Constable Chris Haward said: “We are extremely proud of Steve's actions where he showed his determination and courage in arresting this man despite the fact that he was off duty and was himself being attacked. He was prepared to put his own life at risk to apprehend this dangerous offender and to bring him to justice.
"He truly deserves this accolade. He was instrumental in bringing this offender to justice for the dreadful crimes that he was convicted of. I am grateful and proud of Steve's actions and know that they stand as an example of the amazing and positive contribution that our people can make.”
Helen Stamp, Chair of Lincolnshire Police Federation, said: “As the Chair of Lincolnshire Police Federation I want to offer our huge congratulations to Steve. He is a very worthy and deserving winner. His actions were courageous and truly brave, and it is marvellous that this has been recognised by the judging panel.
"Everyday officers like Steve go above and beyond to serve the public. Unfortunately, not all can be recognised on this level, but I am thankful to all those officers for the work they do, putting themselves in harm’s way.”
Hosted by the Police Federation of England and Wales, and sponsored by Police Mutual, the annual awards honour the bravest of the brave officers for displaying outstanding commitment, while on or off duty, to saving lives and upholding the rule of law.
At the London ceremony, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “These acts of bravery, honoured here today by your colleagues and the public, are outstanding and in the finest traditions of policing. I salute each and every one of the fantastic nominees at the awards. You are truly the best of the very best.
“It is absolutely right and proper that we honour and celebrate the work of our brave men and women in uniform who work day in and day out to protect the public."
PFEW National Chair Steve Hartshorn said: “Across England and Wales, day in and day out, our police officers are going to extraordinary lengths protecting the public. They go to work every day, never knowing what will be ahead of them. In the face of danger and adversity, they go above and beyond their call of duty to protect all of us.
“Their acts of courage go further than any of us could expect, the bravery shown is truly outstanding. From putting their own lives at risk to save others, facing violent attackers and terrifying weapons, to rescuing people from perilous situations in fast-flowing water or stranded hundreds of feet in the air, they have faced danger head-on.
“They don’t do it for recognition or praise, they will tell you they do it because it’s their job.”
Kerry McMahon White, Head of Partnerships, Police Mutual said: “We are very proud to continue to sponsor the Police Federation of England and Wales Police Bravery Awards honouring exceptional officers who have served their communities in extraordinary ways demonstrating exceptional bravery, commitment and sacrifice.
“I am sure I can speak on behalf of my colleagues when I say that all police officers are heroes regardless of whether you win an award or not. You go to work every day never knowing what you will face on your shift, putting the safety and security of the public before your own, running towards danger regardless of the personal risks you are taking. We pay tribute to all of you who get up every day, proudly pull on the uniform, and put yourselves in harm’s way so the rest of us can live our lives in safety.
“I have been truly humbled reading the nominations for tonight’s awards and I am hugely proud to share each and every one of these stories with you. My congratulations go to all nominees – we thank you for your heroism.”