A DUMBARTON police officer who fended off a machete-wielding thug during a terrifying attempted murder bid has been applauded for his bravery.

Sergeant Brian Simpson was responding to a call about a man acting suspiciously in the town’s Ashton View, on September 30 last year.

As he approached the hooded figure, he was asked if he was an armed response unit and on saying that he was not, he was chillingly told: “Well, you better get one.”

The thug, Craig Brown, then drew a 22 inch machete from his trouser leg and began attempting to stab and slash the officer.


Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter:

Sergeant Brian Simpson, from Dumbarton 

The sergeant quickly placed himself next to the marked patrol vehicle and could only watch as Brown, 32, continued trying to attack him before turning his attention to the car.

Sergeant Brian Simpson, 45, said: “The two minutes while I was waiting for my colleagues to arrive felt like two hours.

“You don’t actually realise the danger that you’re currently in at that moment in time.

“It’s not till later on when the adrenaline has subsided that you start thinking to yourself ‘that was close’.

“The what if questions then start kicking in. What if I tripped over my shoelace or the car had been parked further down the road? Would I have got to it in time?”

Sergeant Simpson, who has 20 years’ service, said he managed to recover from the ordeal thanks to his support network which is made up of colleagues, friends and family.

He added: “The group of people I’ve got around me are great.

“I know I’m their line manager, however in circumstances like these you’re not a police officer - you’re a friend and colleague.

“I also got so much support from my wife and family.

“Other than having additional equipment, I did as best as I possibly could on that day to keep myself and other members of the public safe.

“I don’t necessarily think about me going out doing my job as being brave, I’m going out there just doing my job.”

Craig Brown, who had a history of violence, was jailed for 10 years after admitting attempting to murder the police officer.

Convicting Brown, Judge Lord Clark said: “In a terrifying attack you came at him with a machete, swung at him and came close to striking him.

“This type of assault is atrocious.

“When it is carried out on a police officer carrying out his duty, it is utterly contemptible.”

Sergeant Simpson was nominated for a Scottish Police Federation Bravery Award and was one of the winners honoured at a ceremony in Edinburgh on November 28.

Andrea MacDonald, chair of the Scottish Police Federation, added: “Much has changed in Scotland’s policing landscape in recent times with new and unprecedented challenges facing officers on a daily basis.

“But what remains the same is the dedication and bravery of the men and women who put on their uniform every day and go out to do their duty, keeping the citizens of Scotland safe.

“The desire to protect and service the public, often in exceptional circumstances, continues to be at the forefront of everything we do.”