COURAGEOUS police officers - including one in her first week on the job - who confronted a burglar threatening them with a gun have been nominated for The National Police Bravery Awards.

PC Avive Martin and PC Nick Hayter were called to an ongoing house burglary in Stanley Road, Wivenhoe.

When they arrived, PC Hayter went to the rear of the property and saw a smashed window where the burglar had got in, while PC Martin, who was only four days into her role, went to the front of the house.

She bumped into the burglar as he burst through the front door and he pointed a gun directly at her.

After activating her emergency button, PC Hayter came back around the front and the gunman pointed the weapon at both officers demanding they get back and onto the floor.

They ignored his instructions and PC Hayter talked the suspect down, telling him to put the gun down and leave.

He also stepped between the man and his colleague.

The suspect then ran off and the officers gave chase but lost him.

Residents were urged to stay indoors after the incident.

It later emerged the weapon was an imitation firearm.

Since the incident in December 2016, James Preston, 25, has admitted to playing a part in 26 break-ins and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to resist arrest.

He will be sentenced next month.

Steve Taylor, chairman of Essex Police Federation, praised the two officers for their work.

He said: “This incident demonstrates the bravery of Nick and Avive in standing their ground in the face of an armed threat. Remaining professional throughout with the sense of mind to maintain excellent communication before heading into danger by pursuing the suspect.

“They should both be commended for her dedication, professionalism, bravery and perseverance during a potentially life threatening incident.

"And we must also commend the selfless act demonstrated by Nick in protecting his colleague.

“It is with great pride that Essex nominates our colleagues as exemplary examples of unarmed British police officers, once again running towards the danger.

"British policing at its best.”

The officers will attend a reception and an evening awards ceremony in London next month along with other heroic officers from around the country.