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Ian Dibell

Ian Dibell

Served with Essex Police from June 18, 2001 and died on July 9, 2012.

Ian Dibell joined Essex Police in 2001 and was posted to Clacton-on-Sea. On 9 July 2012 he was shot and fatally injured when intervening in an incident close to his home in Great Clacton.

On 12 December 2013 it was announced that Her Majesty The Queen had been pleased to approve the award of The George Medal.

The citation, as published in The London Gazette, reads as follows:

For attempting to disarm an armed assailant

On 9 July 2012 PC Ian Dibell was off duty and at home when he was alerted that a firearm was being discharged nearby. He went to investigate, returning briefly only to pick up his warrant card and mobile telephone. Outside a lone gunman was in pursuit of two of his neighbours who were running away, having already been shot at. The gunman was in a car that had come to a temporary stop and this enabled PC Dibell to intercept the vehicle. He leaned in through an open window and attempted to disarm the gunman. Using both his hands, he attempted to wrestle the revolver from the gunman but was fatally shot when a bullet was discharged. The gunman took his own life the next day. The coroner's verdict was that PC Dibell was killed unlawfully.

PC Dibell intervened in a dangerous situation to protect the public from an armed and dangerous gunman. He acted without hesitation and by returning to his home to collect his warrant card and telephone indicates that he was preparing to act as a police officer to protect the local community from further harm. He knew that a gunman was shooting at members of the public and must have assumed the gunman was still armed. He could have observed from a safe distance and requested assistance without tackling the gunman. But he believed that innocent lives were at risk (including children returning home from school) and that he had to act quickly and decisively. PC Dibell chose to place himself in a violent, volatile and dangerous situation in order to protect others. He was off duty, unarmed and attempted to disarm and detain a gunman who had already demonstrated a willingness to use his weapon.

Ian was also awarded a High Commendation for his actions, which is the highest honour Essex Police is able to bestow.

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