Off-duty police hero given bravery award

21 November 2010, 08:50 | Updated: 21 November 2010, 09:11

An off-duty policeman - who chased two armed robbers from a Jewellery Store in Milton Keynes - has been commended for his actions.

Inspector Neil Spencer - who works in St Albans for Hertfordshire Police - was out shopping with his family last December when he saw two men running from Leslie Davis Jewellers in centre:mk:

"I saw the first person running out of the store, carrying what appeared to be some watches. I then saw the second offender come out, carrying what appeared to be a handgun. I've gone to intervene, at which point he's stopped and looked at me. I've gone to arrest him, he's pointed the gun in my face and pulled the trigger."

Inspector Spencer was hit with a blank bullet which he says "stopped me for a couple of seconds."

He continued to chase the pair - one of whom shot more blanks in his direction - to their getaway car. It was thanks to his description of the vehicle that it was later recovered by Thames Valley Police.

Despite Inspector Spencer's actions, there have so far been no arrests for the robbery.

He told Heart he has no regrets about what he did - and acted on impulse:

"My partner would like to think I'd say I'd probably stop, but to be honest I'd probably do the same again. I'd maybe have second thoughts, but they're there to be arrested and that's my job."

Despite that admission though, he admits it probably wasn't the best idea:

"I would suggest that for a normal everyday member of the public - and even for a police officer - the sensible thing to do is to stop and watch, and become a witness to help convict offenders if we track them down."

Inspector Spencer was commended for his actions during the robbery at a ceremony by Thames Valley Police on Thursday.