A PC who single-handedly protected families in a busy restaurant from a crazed knife-wielding thief has been recognised nationally for her bravery.

North Yorkshire Police officer Laura Kelly was searching for a suspect armed with a knife when she saw a man matching the description trying to mingle with diners in a Scarborough restaurant.

Read more: Police investigation ongoing into “unexplained” sudden death of man aged 50

What happened next was captured on the restaurant’s CCTV system.

Walking casually over to speak to the man – unsure of whether he was the suspect – PC Kelly, who was alone, began to talk to him.

She had begun to take details from the man, not thinking at this stage that he was the perpetrator, when she spotted a blade in his jacket sleeve.

Thinking on her feet, she took a few steps away before radioing for assistance.

The man then pulled out the knife and started to sway it towards families.

Shouting to order other diners to leave, she put her own safety at risk by pushing furniture in his way and using her incapacitant spray to create a diversion.

PC Kelly was honoured at the Police Bravery Awards in London for her actions.

Read more: Mum given lifetime ban on keeping horses - Daughter also banned over 'serious neglect'

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "PC Kelly showed the highest level of bravery and potentially risked her safety to ensure members of the public, including several children, did not come to harm.

"Congratulations to PC Kelly, and all of the winners and nominees across the country, on their incredible achievements."

A total of 93 nominees from the 42 forces in England and Wales were honoured at the postponed 2020 edition of the event.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated North Yorkshire Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on newsdesk@nne.co.uk or contact 01325 505054