A Richmond police officer was nominated for a bravery award for scaring off a gang of armed robbers in his boxer shorts in Barnes.
PC Andrew Wienand, was awarded the nomination after he chased away a gang of armed robbers in nothing but his underwear as they attempted to break into the jewellers below his flat, narrowly dodging a pickaxe that was hurled at him as he ran at them.
Wienand, along with other nominees, were received at Downing Street, before later attending the Police Federation Bravery Awards on the evening of the 12th October.
The event had been postponed from September 2020 due to COVID.
PC Wienand said: “I love being a police officer and it was great to see so many people that were as passionate as I am.
“I was quite overwhelmed knowing that the three of us were nominated for the national bravery award out of over 100,000 officers, but it was a fantastic surprise.
“To have my two colleagues as company, and hearing about their stories on a personal level was really great, as was being in the company of so many officers that have gone above and beyond.
“It’s heart-warming and it’s why I joined the job.”
Wienand was nominated in May 2019, when he was woken up by a gang of armed robbers as they attempted to batter down the window of the jewellery shop below with pickaxes and sledgehammers.
The 31-year-old and his and his partner, both originally from South Africa, got up and began shouting at the robbers in multiple languages, including Afrikaans as he rushed down to stop the break in.
Wienand joked: “It’s been a while since I’ve tanned, so seeing if a large man with pasty white skin and a hairy chest just charging at them, much like a barbarian, probably shocked them to death.”
One of the would-be thieves hurled a pickaxe at the off-duty officer, which narrowly missed as Wienand ran at them.
Wienand and his partner were joined by other neighbours in seeing off the robbers as they escaped on mopeds.
The bravery award was won by another London policeman, Stuart Outten, who was nominated for apprehending a suspect whilst being violently attacked with a machete.
Wienand added: “It was a lot of really good company, fantastic food, and people who are of a similar mind that love being officers.”
Wienand, a fourth generation police officer who previously worked in the hospitality industry for over 15 years, stated that his family were very proud upon receiving the news of his nomination.
He said: “My grandmother is overwhelmed, she thinks this is the best news ever, and a lot better than me being a butler.
“We deal with such traumatic events in the police that when you get that one incident where you know you’ve helped someone, when they’re breaking down in tears, or they’re hugging you in gratitude and you know that you’ve helped, it makes up for all of it.
“It’s what keeps me going because you join to help people.
“I joined the job to make a difference.”
You can read more about the Police Bravery Awards here.