Retired Met Police officer who chased and caught armed suspect honoured 38 years later

A retired Met officer who chased and caught an armed suspect has finally been honoured – 38 years late.

Detective Constable Steve Harvey, 61, received a commendation from Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick after she learnt he never got one at the time.

DC Harvey was one of a team of plain-clothes officers who identified two known gunmen in Peckham in the summer of 1982.

When officers approached, one suspect drew his weapon from his waistband and threw it to the ground.

The other, a career criminal with a long history of violent offending, fled the scene.

As DC Harvey pursued him through the nearby housing estate on his own without a radio. The suspect discarded a knife.

With no realistic opportunity to detain him, DC Harvey managed to alert a member of the public and asked him to call 999, telling them the suspect was heading towards the Old Kent Road.

He then spotted a CID car driving towards him and seeing colleagues approaching, he caught up with the suspect and arrested him.

The man was later convicted of wounding and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and sentenced to 23 years’ in prison.

Mr Harvey told the Standard said he was pleased to receive the award at New Scotland Yard but back in the Eighties such bravery wasn’t celebrated.

He said: “I’m very grateful but to say I’m brave, I think foolhardy would be more accurate.

“My job was to nick villains and you didn’t need a certificate to tell you you’re doing well. I was a young active police officer, who didn’t think twice about getting stuck in.

“I’m very pleased with the commendation but have worked with people over 35 years who should be equally recognised.”

Mr Harvey, who is married to an ex-police officer, took the youngest of two sons to the ceremony and the 17-year-old is now considering a career in the force.

He served in the Met during the Brixton riots, and with Gwent Police, the regional crime squad, the national criminal intelligence service and Europol in The Hague before retiring.

Three serving officers were also honoured by the Commissioner last week Wednesday, including Britain’s bravest policeman PC Stuart Outten who managed to Taser a man attacking him with a machete in Leyton in August 2019.

Dame Cressida said: “I am extremely proud to commend these officers who acted without a thought for their own safety in order to protect others.

“Their quick thinking, bravery and professionalism is outstanding and I thank them for their selfless actions.”

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