Two police officers who were stabbed while attending an incident at a house have been recognised for their “outstanding” bravery.
Constables Laura Sayer and Kenneth MacKenzie were attacked after going to a house in Greenock, Inverclyde, to support colleagues from a partner agency and suffered serious injuries in the incident on June 1.
Speaking for the first time, the officers thanked colleagues and the public for their support but said they were only doing “what all police officers are trained to do”.
William Taylor, who appeared in court charged with stabbing the officers, has been detained for mental health treatment.
Constable Sayer had six months’ service at the time of the attack while Pc MacKenzie had been an officer for nine years.
They said their recovery has been “very difficult” at times but they hope to return to work in the near future.
The pair, along with seven fellow officers who assisted as the incident unfolded, received bravery awards from Chief Constable Iain Livingstone at a ceremony at the Scottish Police College at Tulliallan, Fife, on Thursday.
In a joint statement, the injured officers said: “The incident which we and our colleagues faced on June 1 was extremely challenging and not something that we will easily ever forget.
“We did what all police officers are trained to do and can only thank our colleagues who put themselves in harm’s way to help prevent what could have been a far more serious incident.
“Despite the serious injuries we suffered, we both recognise that without the support of fellow officers that day it could have been much worse.”
They added: “The past few months have also been extremely challenging and we have faced a long road to recovery which has, at times, been very difficult.
“We are very proud to be recognised with this bravery award and to share this moment with the colleagues who helped during the incident.
“Our recovery is going well and we hope to return to work in the near future. This would not have been possible without the support of Police Scotland and fellow officers.
“The hundreds of messages of support we received from the public have also been a huge comfort as we recover and we would like to thank everyone for their kind wishes.”
The pair were among 64 police officers, two special constables, one member of police staff and 14 members of the public honoured at the Police Scotland Bravery and Meritorious Conduct Awards.
Among those honoured were Sergeant David Rourke, who rescued an elderly couple from their house in West Linton in the Borders before it was engulfed by 12ft high snow in the ‘Beast from the East’ storm, and Constable Adam Denny, who arrived at an incident in Auchterarder, Perth and Kinross, where three people had already been stabbed and prevented the attacker from hurting more people in August 2017.
Shaun Carroll, a member of the public who rescued a driver from a burning vehicle near Dalkeith, Midlothian, last December, was also among those to receive an award.
Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said: “The Police Scotland bravery awards provide us with an opportunity to pause, reflect and admire outstanding acts of bravery displayed by members of the public, police officers and staff who put the protection of others before their own safety.
“These selfless acts of care, courage and professionalism include many instances where immense courage was shown in helping people at their time of greatest need, actions that were often life-changing for all involved.”
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “To start each day without knowing the danger that may arise is not an experience faced by many. The police officers commended today are shining examples of officers who have gone far beyond the call of duty when faced with that risk.
“The members of the public here who have responded bravely to help fellow citizens are a further representation of the compassion found across Scotland.”