A BORDERS police officer who single-handedly tackled a murderer in a supermarket car park has been honoured for his bravery.

Ross Falconer had gone to Tesco in Peebles during his shift on Sunday, August 6 when he came across a couple arguing.

Just seconds later, the officer, who was an Acting Police Sergeant at the time, heard a radio message stating there had been a vicious stabbing in the nearby Cuddyside area.

The 39-year-old quickly realised that the man in front of him, Nicholas Rogers, was connected to the incident and was attempting to flee the scene using his girlfriend’s car.

Despite not knowing if Rogers was still armed and with the nearest backup unit being 20 minutes away, Constable Falconer swiftly attempted to handcuff the man.

A struggle ensued, with Rogers repeatedly threatening to kill the officer, but he managed to get the 28-year-old under control.

Tragically, Alex Stuart sustained serious injuries during the earlier knife attack and died in hospital.

Constable Falconer was named the overall winner at the 5th Annual Scottish Police Federation Bravery Awards in Edinburgh on Thursday after being nominated by his colleagues.

The father-of-two said: “It was completely coincidental that I happened to have gone to buy a bottle of juice at the exact moment that this male was at Tesco.

“It was really just a case of me being in the right place at the right time.

"At that point, I didn’t know if the male was still in possession of a knife.

“His intention was to escape the police which was clear from the messages he had sent his girlfriend.

“If he had managed to drive away, there would have been a serious manhunt for a very dangerous individual which could’ve gone on for a long time and put members of the public and police officers at extreme risk.

“The next nearest unit to me was in Galashiels which is about a 20 to 25 minute drive away."

“My concern at the time was that the male was armed and he may attempt to stab either myself or someone else. I tried to speak to him however he was extremely aggressive.

“I managed to get one hand cuffed but at that time, he was able to grab hold of me by the top of my vest and began to struggle with me.

“He tried to take me towards the ground.

“I had activated my emergency button on my radio and unbeknown to me at the time, my two colleagues had diverted from the stabbing and came to assist me.

“I managed to secure the male in handcuffs and a few seconds later I heard the sirens as my colleagues drove into the car park, much to my relief.”

The murder of postwoman Alex caused a huge outpouring of grief from within Peebles.

The 22-year-old had been a hugely popular figure in the town.

Father-of-two Ross added: “I made the decision to approach the male and handcuff him because it’s my duty as a police officer to protect the public.

“I knew there were possibly significant risk to myself however I felt that my duty, my responsibility, as an officer outweighs any risk to myself.

“I’m not ashamed to admit that I was very scared in that situation but there was no alternative.

“I am a dad myself and I did meet the victim’s family very briefly after the incident and I saw what an effect it had had on them.

“I’d hate to think of myself in that situation, it must’ve been horrific, obviously for Alex but also for her whole family.

“It also had quite an effect on the wider community here in Peebles.”

The Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Humza Yousaf MSP, paid tribute to the bravery of Constable Falconer and offered his condolences to the family of Alex.

He said: “My thoughts are with the family of Alex Stuart who died during an incident in Peebles.

“Unfortunately police officers face this kind of violence and risk in the course of protecting the public, but they all show tremendous courage in dealing with it professionally.

“Their thoughts are often not of their own safety but to keep communities safe and help people in times of danger and distress.

“These awards are an important way to commend the actions of officers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Each incident is an example of the professionalism and dedication I see throughout Police Scotland.

“I am grateful for the efforts of all the officers involved.”

Constable Falconer was the overall winner of the bravery award with a further 17 police officers honoured during the ceremony.

Andrea MacDonald, chair of the Scottish Police Federation, added: “All the winners this year are a credit to the service and it was my privilege to thank them for their heroic actions, on behalf of their colleagues, families, friends and the general public.

“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.”