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Saturday, 20 September 2014

Brave police officer up for national award for tackling armed robber

A West Cumbrian policeman who tackled a potential armed robber has been nominated for a national award.

dennis kelly
AWARD: Detective Inspector Dennis Kelly

Off-duty inspector Dennis Kelly grabbed the man and wrestled what turned out to be an imitation weapon out of his hands.

Insp Kelly leapt into action after stopping to refuel his car at a filling station and Spar shop in Curzon Street, Maryport.

He became suspicious of a man at the night counter who then pulled out what was suspected to be a gun, pointing it at the cashier.

Insp Kelly grabbed the man and held him before other police officers arrived to help.

David McCracken, of Ellenfoot Drive, Maryport, was later jailed for the attempted robbery, which happened in July 2010.

Stuart Hyde, Cumbria’s chief constable, has put Insp Kelly forward for the annual bravery award given out by Cumbria Police Authority.

Authority members on Wednesday agreed that Insp Kelly should get the award.

He will now go forward as a nominee for the national Police Bravery Awards, held every year in London.

Mr Hyde said: “Insp Kelly is commended for his courage and decisiveness while off duty.

“Dennis reacted immediately by pushing the man against the counter and wrestling the gun out of his hand before arresting him.

“This was an act of true bravery. Dennis did not hesitate despite the risks involved.”

Insp Kelly, who covers the Cockermouth, Aspatria and Wigton area, has already been commended by the judge in the case, Peter Hughes QC.

McCracken, who was 27 at the time, was jailed for three years for the attempted robbery, one-and-a-half years for possessing an imitation hand gun and three years for a separate arson. He pleaded guilty to all the offences.

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