Most of us will never know how it feels to have our lives put in danger on a regular basis during our working life.  

It’s hard to imagine setting out to do your job, with no clear idea of what situation you’re going to walk into, only to find yourself seriously injured and facing the very real risk of not coming home again.  

That was the reality for two Devon and Cornwall Police officers, who last week were recognised for their bravery after being subjected to a frenzied knife attack on Dartmoor while responding to a report of a high-risk missing man who had left home following a domestic assault.  

PCs Tim Willett and Darren Brimacombe were left with serious knife wounds during the incident in Princetown in July 2021. PC Brimacombe was repeatedly stabbed, suffering facial injuries and a serious arterial bleed when he was stabbed in the arm.  

As PC Willett attempted to save his colleague from his attacker, he was stabbed in the arm and his fingers were sliced. He removed his own tourniquet to help PC Brimacombe who was bleeding heavily and couldn’t apply his own. Both men required multiple operations as part of their recovery.   

Their attacker is now serving a 12-year sentence for the assault which the sentencing judge said caused 'immense psychological damage' to the victims. 

The pair received a Chief Constable’s Commendation at Downing Street last week. I am immensely proud of how PCs Willett and Brimacombe acted on that day, and I join Chief Constable Kerr in thanking them for their courage and professionalism.  

At a time when officers’ behaviour is under intense national scrutiny, it’s important we also remember the good they do, the risks they face, and the courage and selflessness they show in protecting not only the public but their trusted colleagues too.  

Last week, the Government announced a public sector pay rise, with police officers jointly with prison officers awarded the highest at 7 per cent. This is fantastic news which I’m sure will be widely welcomed among not only the force but also the members of the public they help to keep safe.   

It’s right that we recognise the daily sacrifices they make not just with awards and commendations but by making sure they are properly recompensed for can be an unpredictable and intensely challenging job, and one that at times comes at great personal cost.