Essex men given rewards for their bravery after stopping Harwich post office robber

Brian Smith, from Chelmsford, has been rewarded £400 by a magistrate after he helped apprehend an a

Brian Smith, from Chelmsford, has been rewarded £400 by a magistrate after he helped apprehend an armed robber. Chief Inspector Paul Wells, Tendring's new district commander with Brian Smith at Clacton Police Station. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Two men have been hailed for their bravery by police for catching a man after he robbed a post office in Essex.

Brian Smith, from Chelmsford, has been rewarded £400 by a magistrate after he helped apprehend an a

Brian Smith, from Chelmsford, has been rewarded £400 by a magistrate after he helped apprehend an armed robber. Chief Inspector Paul Wells, Tendring's new district commander with Brian Smith at Clacton Police Station. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Brian Smith, 48, from Chelmsford, and Glyn Phillips, 53, from Harwich, were in the area of Market Road, Harwich, on July 5 this year when they came across a masked man heading towards the post office.

The pair have been presented with Essex Police awards in honour of their bravery.

Mark Dove, 30, of Briardale Avenue, Harwich, threatened staff in the store whilst holding an object in a plastic bag, and then proceeded to take cash from the Post Office’s till.

Having seen Dove on his way into the store, Mr Smith and Mr Phillips had realised what the offender was about to do and so readied themselves outside the Post Office to stop him as he attempted to leave.


You may also want to watch:


The men managed to detain Dove, keeping hold of him until to police arrived, even after Dove punched one of the men.

Thanking Mr Smith in person yesterday, Chief Inspector Paul Wells, Essex Police’s new Tendring District Commander, said: “They made the decision to put themselves in harm’s way and this resulted directly in a man being brought to justice and receiving a custodial sentence.

Most Read

“It’s a heartening reminder of the good will and decency that characterises our communities and I hope it sends a message to the small minority who might commit violent crimes, that the rest of us don’t like it.

“There is no expectation that members of the public should place themselves in dangerous situations.

“Mr Smith and Mr Phillips selflessly put the safety of other people first and once again I thank them.”

Dove appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on October 30 and pleaded guilty to robbery and assault. He received 20 months for the former and four months for the latter to run concurrently. Dove was also ordered to pay a £140 victim surcharge.

The magistrate issued £400 reward offers to Mr Smith and Mr Phillips to thank them for their actions.

Mr Smith said: “I happened to be in the area when I suddenly saw a man walk into the post office wearing a mask. Mr Phillips was nearby and we waited outside, grabbed the man and held him until police arrived.

“I would like to thank Essex Police for all their support and the courts for their reward.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter