Two men awarded bravery award by Police Scotland

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Two men have been honoured in recognition of their bravery when they detained a man intent on robbing a shop in Perth.

The men were presented with their awards at the Police Scotland Training College in Tulliallan today [Tuesday 29 July] by Chief Constable Sir Stephen House. Superintendent Angela McLaren of Tayside Division was also in attendance to congratulate the recipients.

Mr Robin Rennie, aged 73, and Mr Roy Benson, aged 64 were nominated by Police Scotland for consideration of an award by the ACPO Police Public Bravery Awards panel in recognition of their selfless act of bravery.

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Mr Benson
Mr Benson

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Mr Rennie
Mr Rennie

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At the Police Public Bravery Awards Selection Committee on 24 March 2014 both Mr Rennie and Mr Benson were awarded a Certificate of Commendation.

The nomination for the bravery award follows an incident that occurred about 1.25 pm on Thursday 20 June 2013. Mr Benson was working in his shop Bensons Newsagents in Perth when he was visited by Mr Rennie, who was there to deliver merchandise.

Mr Benson was standing behind the counter, chatting to Mr Rennie when they became aware of a teenager coming into the shop and loitering before leaving again. Five minutes later, he re-entered the shop and made his way directly to the counter. Believing that the man was a customer, Mr Rennie stood back from the counter to allow Mr Benson to serve him.

The man then leaned on the counter and raised his right hand in which he was holding a knife. He then demanded money and alcohol from Mr Benson. Mr Benson seized the man’s wrist and activated the personal attack alarm situated underneath his counter. On seeing all this, Mr Rennie grabbed the man and both he and Mr Benson got him onto the floor. Mr Benson took hold of the knife and threw it out of the man’s reach. The man began lashing out in an attempt to break free but Mr Rennie and Mr Benson had him pinned to the floor and he was unable to break their hold. Another member of the public entered the shop and was instructed to call the police and request urgent assistance. On conviction the offender was sentenced to 30 months in a Young Offenders Institution.

Chief Constable Sir Stephen House said :

“Mr Benson and Mr Rennie showed tremendous courage in tackling an aggressive teenager armed with a knife. The knife used was a large sharp kitchen paring knife which would have been more than capable of inflicting serious injury had it struck either party.

“With no CCTV at the premises, the detection of this crime could have been more challenging had Mr Benson and Mr Rennie not reacted as they did. Their actions ensured that a dangerous criminal has been prevented from committing further crimes, resulting in the community of Perth being a safer place.”