Two Brave Brighton Policemen.

Being presented with the B.E.M. by the Duke Of Norfolk
Pam Edwards
Left Dick Clay. Right Peter Rubidge
David Rowland

Detective Constable Richard (Dick) Clay and Constable Peter Rubridge

This is the story of two brave Brighton Borough Police Officers who disarmed a dangerous gunman. This was in the days when guns were rarely heard of or used on the streets.

The day started normally for the two officers. They booked on duty in the normal way and were assigned to a police car patrol covering the busy part of Brighton.

Detective constable Richard (Dick) |Clay and Constable Peter Rubridge set off on patrol. The initially dealt with everyday routine offences. After a while they were patrolling in the London Road area when they received a message regarding a stolen car and to their surprise there it was, right in front of them.

They followed it for a little way with ‘Dick’ Clay driving. They soon managed to stop the vehicle by driving in front of it and forcing it to stop. They were waiting for the occupant to make a run for it and so as soon as the police car had stopped.

Both the policemen were outs and in seconds were either side of the stolen car preventing anyone from leaving. PC Rubridge grabbed the ignition key and removed it.  He was looking at the driver when he saw the driver with a gun in his hand pointing it at his stomach. He heard the sound of a click of the automatic gun. Without any hesitation for themselves they grabbed the gunman knocking the gun from his hand, dragged him from the car and after a fierce struggle they managed to arrest him.

At the police station the gun was examined and it was found to be loaded with one bullet in the chamber ready for firing. Constable Rubridge and Det./Constable Clay were very lucky to still be alive.

The man in question was later described as being ‘one of the most dangerous men in Cyprus.’

British Empire Medal

Both Officers had served in the Brighton Borough Police Force for the past 11 years.

They were both awarded the British Empire Medal for their bravery.

The award took place on the eastern lawns of the Royal Pavilion in front of 100 of their police colleagues and a large number of the public who came to watch the proceedings. The Medals were presented by The Duke of Norfolk, the senior Duke of England.

The families of both officers were sitting in seats of honour, enjoying a very special and proud day which also included the Chief Constable, Mr. Rowsell and Council dignitaries.

These events occurred in 1959/60.

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