‘Holyrood hero’ praised for tackling knife-wielding thug at Scottish Parliament

Detective Constable Powell won award for bravery at Scottish Parliament. Picture: Stewart Attwod
Detective Constable Powell won award for bravery at Scottish Parliament. Picture: Stewart Attwod
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A HERO police officer has been recognised for his bravery after tackling a knife-wielding thug attempting to set fire to the Scottish Parliament.

Detective Constable Glynn Powell bravely disarmed Piotr Swiatek, who was jailed for 30 months in October for pouring fuel on wooden posts before pulling out a large kitchen knife.

Quick-thinking Powell, 49, ran out of the entrance hall of the Parliament to tackle Swiatek and pin him to the ground in the incident on March 24, two days after the first anniversary of a terror attack at the UK Parliament in Westminster which left 48-year-old police officer Keith Palmer and four pedestrians dead.

And last night, Det Con Powell, from Edinburgh, was recognised for his extraordinary actions at the Scottish Police Federation (SPF) Bravery Awards.

The prestigious ceremony Macdonald Holyrood Hotel recognised the heroism of 22 police officers.

READ MORE: Man who attempted to set fire to Scottish Parliament jailed

Nicknamed the “Holyrood Hero”, Det Con Powell thought nothing of his own safety when he ran out to confront Swiatek and wrestle him to the ground.

After disarming and restraining him, it later emerged Swiatek had another blade hidden in his pocket.

He said: “When I spotted the suspect, I couldn’t immediately see what he was doing. As I approached, I very quickly understood what his intentions were. I wouldn’t have been doing my job if I hadn’t intervened. I’m just glad that the situation didn’t come to anything worse and that no-one was hurt.”

Inspector Brian McRae, who nominated his colleague, added: “Detective Constable Powell put himself in harm’s way to prevent escalation and to protect others. His courage and bravery ensured the incident was brought to a swift conclusion. He very much deserves this award.”

Andrea MacDonald, Chair of the Scottish Police Federation, said: “The actions undertaken by Detective Constable Powell that day were incredibly brave. He managed a highly dangerous situation with no regard for his own safety, putting himself at risk to protect others.”

She added: “These awards are about recognising the incredible efforts of Scotland’s police officers who all to often, are faced with situations which could have major repercussions.”

The officers attended a reception at Bute House, hosted by Humza Yousaf, Cabinet Secretary for Justice, before the awards ceremony.

Stephen Mann, chief executive of Police Mutual, which sponsors the awards, said: “We are once again reminded that outstanding bravery is being demonstrated every day in communities across Scotland. The winners are a credit to their family and friends, their communities, and the wider Police Service.”