Essex: Clacton police officer Pc Ian Dibell posthumously given national bravery award.

PC Ian Dibell

PC Ian Dibell - Credit: Archant

An Essex police officer who was shot dead when he tried to wrestle a weapon from a gunman in the street has posthumously been given a national bravery award.

Pc Ian Dibell, 41, was voted as the most courageous officer in England and Wales at the annual Police Bravery Awards held last night after he lost his life trying to prevent a bloodbath near his home in Clacton last July.

Peter Reeve, 64, had opened fire on his neighbour Trevor Marshall and Mr Marshall’s girlfriend, Katarzyna Karolak, and was chasing Mr Marshall in his blue Toyota.

Pc Dibell, a father-of-two, leaned into the car to try to grab the gun and a bullet passed into his hand and then through his chest, causing fatal injuries.

Steve Williams, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “Officers put others’ lives before their own. Sadly as our winner’s story highlights this can have tragic consequences.

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“Pc Ian Dibell was a valiant team player; his bravery on that fateful day typifies his whole life – always putting others before himself.”

Pc Dibell was also given a commendation in May by Essex Police Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle, who said that his selfless actions could have saved many lives.

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Gunman Reeve, a former mechanic, went on the rampage after becoming obsessed that his neighbours were dealing drugs and printing money. He took his own life – he was found dead in a churchyard in Writtle, near Chelmsford, the day after Mr Dibell was shot.

The constable had run back to his house to get his warrant card when he realised that a gunman was on the loose, meaning that technically he was on duty when he died. Pc Dibell, who was also awarded the regional award for the South East last night, was selected as the overall winner after officers were nominated for awards by 37 forces across England and Wales.

His brothers Paul and Neil joined other nominees at a reception at Downing Street yesterday followed by an evening ceremony at 8 Northumberland Avenue in London, where another seven regional awards were also handed out.

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