A POLICE officer badly injured as she tackled a hammer-wielding thug has been nominated for a National Police Bravery Award.

PC Roz Fricker, who was a probationary officer at the time of the incident, spent five months recovering from a haematoma and prolapsed disc after what was described as a "horrific attack".

She'd been among officers called to deal with a serious disturbance in Dale Close, Poole, on April 4, 2018.

Explaining her actions that day, a Dorset Police Federation spokesman said that shortly after officers arrived on scene a man holding a pole, who had been shouting and kicking at people's front doors, suddenly marched towards her – clearly concealing something behind his back.

He revealed the hammer and raised it as if to strike, but PC Fricker immediately put up her hands to try and defuse the situation.

However, undeterred the man swung the hammer towards the officer.

"PC Fricker realised her life, and possibly the life of nearby members of the public were at severe risk and managed to call for assistance before drawing her PAVA spray," said the federation spokesman.

PAVA is an incapacitant spray carried by officers which is similar to pepper spray.

The spokesman said: "The man didn’t back off and instead goaded her to Taser him, not something PC Fricker had as part of her kit.

"The man again swung the hammer at her, this time striking a severe blow to her shoulder.

"She managed to deploy her PAVA, but the irritant only served to incense her assailant further.

"He was still in an agitated state and started bouncing around before he ran off towards some parked cars which he began to smash up with his hammer."

Despite being in severe pain, PC Fricker followed him and updated colleagues on the radio who by now were close by. After a quick search, PC Fricker and a colleague found the thug cowering behind a parked car and despite his violent attempts to resist detention, the officers managed to get him under control.

As well as the hammer, the officers discovered he was in possession of a metal mallet and a total of seven knives hidden in his clothing, including a blade stashed in an orange foam tennis ball.

It took PC Fricker five months until she was physically able to return to frontline duties.

Now she will join more than 90 colleagues from across England and Wales nominated for their courageous acts at the national awards.

The man arrested did attend crown court in 2019, but was found not guilty due to his mental capacity at the time of the incident.

Dorset Police Federation chairman Anna Harvey said PC Fricker had shown extraordinary courage and professionalism.

“First and foremost, Roz got this violent and extremely aggressive man off the streets, despite suffering severe injury,” Anna said.

“The incident could have quite easily ended in tragedy was it not for our colleague’s bravery and determination to get the job done and her extraordinary care and concern for her community. She did not take a backward step.

“Thank you, Roz. We are very proud of you.”

The awards ceremony, which was postponed due to Covid, is due to take place in July next year.