Brave Constable Jeremy Archer was awarded a Commissioner's High Commendation at a special ceremony held at New Scotland Yard in May 2003 after he successfully arrested a violent drug dealer who had threatened him with a handgun.

Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner, presented the award to Constable Archer for his courage and tenacity in pursuing and disarming the drug dealer, who had also shot at a rival criminal.

In early summer 2001, Constable Archer, 31, was patrolling in a marked police car with a colleague when a car pulled in front of them causing them to brake sharply. The car had been involved in a high-speed chase with armed gunmen, during which the driver had received a gunshot wound, and they had pulled in front of the police car for their own safety. Whilst the officers were dealing with the incident they saw the gunmen drive past and immediately set off in pursuit.

As the gunmen approached heavy traffic the passenger jumped out of the car and ran into an unlit dead-end alley. Constable Archer ran after him. When the man realised he was trapped he tried to pull a gun on the officer but it snagged in his pocket. A violent struggle ensued during which the gun was pointed at Constable Archer's stomach.

Constable Archer, a keen triathlete, persisted in restraining the gunman and forced him to drop the gun before arresting him after a brief chase. In the meantime his colleague had arrested the other suspect.

At court the two men were sentenced to a total of 39 years' imprisonment for crimes including grievous bodily harm and possession of firearms and drugs.

20th July 2003

Associated articles:

Original report - Gun battle in Putney (May 2001)

Call for more police for Putney 13.02.2003

One community police officer left to cover Roehampton

Emergency response times fall as police numbers crisis bites