A HAMPSHIRE PC has been named as the bravest police officer in the country.

PC Alex Stypulkowski was stabbed repeatedly in the chest, neck and head during a frenzied attack as he tried to detain a man with mental problems.

The heroic cop’s actions were tonight recognised at the ceremony in London, supported by Hampshire’s chief constable Alex Marshall and the head of the county’s police federation, which represents rank and file officers, John Apter.

The two men, who have regularly had differences of opinion over cutbacks to the force and other policing issues, were said to be emotional and hugging when PC Stypulkowski was named as the night’s overall winner.

Chairman of the Police Federation, Paul McKeever said: ''PC Stypulkowski deserves the highest praise for his courage and determination in apprehending an armed maniac.

“Knowing the risks, PC Stypulkowski fearlessly put his own life on the line to pursue this very dangerous offender. This award deservingly gives recognition to his sheer professionalism and selfless actions.''

PC Stypulkowski thought he was going to die as the man he was trying to arrest plunged what was originally thought to be a knife into him as they struggled on the floor in a dark road.

It was later discovered the man had used a screwdriver during the ferocious attack.

The frightening ordeal happened in November 2010 when the officer was deployed to assist social services to section the man, known to be violent and who had previously taken his own mother hostage, under the mental health act But when police arrived at the scene, the man came out of the house and ran from the police who then chased him.

Moments later Pc Stypulkowski found he had become separated from his colleagues and face to face with the man who was brandishing a blade.

In a sinisterly calm way the man told PC Stypulkowski, “You're going to die.”

The officer sprayed him in the face with CS gas and then, when that failed, he hit him across the legs with his asp - but he was dragged to the floor by the man as he fell.

As the two men struggled, the officer's jacket was pulled over his head so he couldn't see and then the vicious stabbing began.

Shortly after, another officer arrived and the man they were trying to detain again ran off, but despite his injuries PC Stypulkowski got up and continued with the chase. He was found hiding behind a car and was finally tackled with CS spray before a second officer used a taser gun to detain him.

At the hospital it was discovered that PC Stypulkowski had been stabbed in the head and neck. One stab wound had narrowly missed his jugular vein.

John Apter, chairman of Hampshire Police Federation, said: “PC Stypulkowski's actions that day epitomise the courage and commitment of being a police officer. His determination to arrest the man despite near fatal injuries to himself is highly commendable and acts as an example to us all. It was only good luck and body armour which prevented something far worse.”

Alex Marshall, Chief Constable, added: “'PC Stypulkowski is a dedicated officer. His actions on that night demonstrated exceptional bravery and determination. I am extremely proud of him, he is a credit to Hampshire Constabulary.”