Michael Pratt (GC)

Summary

Michael Kenneth Pratt (born 15 November 1954) is a former constable of the Victoria Police Force in Melbourne, Australia, who received the George Cross for outstanding bravery in his efforts to thwart the armed robbery of a bank in 1976.

Michael Kenneth Pratt,
Personal details
Born (1954-11-15) 15 November 1954 (age 67)
ProfessionPolice officer

InterventionEdit

On the morning of 4 June 1976 Senior Constable Pratt intervened in a robbery of an ANZ Bank branch in Clifton Hill, and was shot in the back when he tried to stop the robbery. Keith George Faure was convicted for the shooting. The injuries received resulted in Pratt retiring from the Victoria Police.[1][2]

CitationEdit

In 1978 he was awarded the George Cross with the following official announcement published in the London Gazette:[3]

The QUEEN has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the George Cross to the undermentioned:-

GEORGE CROSS

Michael Kenneth PRATT, Constable, Victoria Police Force.

On the morning of 4th June 1976 three masked men entered a bank and carried out an armed robbery. One of the men ordered the staff to lie on the floor, another jumped over the counter and removed money from the tills while the third remained in the public area and fired a shot in the direction of the manager and a customer when they ran towards the rear of the bank.

Constable Pratt, who was off-duty and unarmed, was driving past the bank in his private car and saw the men entering the bank ; he noticed that each man was masked and carrying a firearm and realised that they were about to commit an armed robbery. He immediately turned his car, switched up the lights and, sounding his horn, mounted the kerb and blocked the bank entrance. He instructed a passer-by to call for police assistance.

The raiders were taken by surprise, but one of them threatened the Constable with a gun and signalled to him to remove the car, whereupon the officer refused, removed the ignition key, and armed himself with the handle of a car jack. The men then attempted to leave the bank by kicking in the lower section of the glass door and climbing over the bonnet of the car. As the first man straddled the front of the car Constable Pratt grabbed him firmly and during the violent struggle which ensued the robber was knocked unconscious. By this time a second gunman had left the bank and climbed over the car, aimed his weapon and threatened to shoot the officer at close range ; the man had his arms extended at shoulder height and pointed a revolver directly at Constable Pratt. The first man had by now recovered consciousness and was getting to his feet, so the officer grabbed him again and the man called to the gunman to shoot the Constable. A shot was then fired and Constable Pratt who was in the process of trying to protect his back and at the same time retain his hold on his captive, was seriously wounded.

Constable Pratt displayed outstanding bravery, devotion to duty and a complete disregard for his own safety when, unarmed and single handed, he faced and attempted to arrest these dangerous armed criminals.

EducationEdit

Pratt went to school at the Christian Brothers College (Junior School) at Alphington and Bundoora, followed by Preston Technical School, where he captained the Football Club in 1972.[4]

Honours and awardsEdit

  George Cross 1978
  Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal 2002
  Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal 2012
  Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal 2022

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Police swoop on gangland suspect, The Age, 20 May 2004. Retrieved 14 October 2008
  2. ^ John Silvester, Let's make a deal, The Age, 4 May 2008. Retrieved 14 October 2008
  3. ^ "No. 47582". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 July 1978. p. 8045.
  4. ^ George Cross Database entry - Michael Kenneth PRATT, GC (Living Recipient) Retrieved 14 October 2008 Archived 15 February 2005 at the Wayback Machine