Michael Pratt (GC)

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Michael Kenneth Pratt,
GC
Personal details
Born 15 November 1954 (age 60)
Profession Police officer

Michael Kenneth Pratt GC (born 15 November 1954) is a former constable (no. 18182) of the Victoria Police Force of Melbourne, Australia, and a recipient of the George Cross, gazetted on 4 July 1978. His was the most recent non-posthumous award of the George Cross to a civilian.

Education[edit]

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.[1]

Intervention[edit]

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.[2][3]

Citation[edit]

What follows is the full text of the official citation in the London Gazette:[4]

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.

Honours and Awards[edit]

Ribbon of the George Cross George Cross 1978
Ribbon of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal 2002
Ribbon of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal 2012

References[edit]

  1. ^ George Cross Database entry - Michael Kenneth PRATT, GC (Living Recipient)[dead link] Accessed 14 October 2008
  2. ^ Police swoop on gangland suspect, The Age, 20 May 2004. Accessed 14 October 2008
  3. ^ John Silvester, Let's make a deal, The Age, 4 May 2008. Accessed 14 October 2008
  4. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 47582. p. 8045. 3 July 1978. Retrieved 2008-01-10.