Driver tried to torch Edmonton Police Station in Remembrance Day attack

·3-min read
Driver tried to torch Edmonton Police Station in Remembrance Day attack

A man who rammed into and tried to torch a London police station in a Remembrance Day revenge attack has been detained in hospital indefinitely.

Adam Pawlowski, 46, veered off the road and slammed his car into the front of Edmonton Police Station on November 11 last year, in an attack he claimed had been planned for more than two years.

When his vehicle became wedged in the shattered front of the building, CCTV footage shows Pawlowski splashed petrol on to the police station and laid a trail into the road.

In scenes reminiscent of a Hollywood movie, Pawlowski set the trail of flammable trail alight before he was wrestled to the ground by a heroic members of the public. Police officers then rushed out to extinguish the flames before they reached the Fore Street station.

Prosecutor Richard Milne told Wood Green crown court Pawlowski, a Polish national, later admitted to detectives that he had deliberately planned the attack to coincide with Remembrance Day.

Adam Pawlowski (MPS)
Adam Pawlowski (MPS)

Scotland Yard said he had picked the date and time - 7pm - due to a personal significance to the numbers one and seven.

“The defendant said he planned the attack from the last two and a half years, and the date of November 11 had been chosen specifically”, he said.

“He went on to admit he bought £6 of petrol and had driven at the police station. He intended to reverse and drive back into the office several times, but he was unable to do so.

“He poured petrol on to the floor and walls of the station, but didn’t have enough petrol. He admitted his intention was for the police station to catch fire.”

Judge Barbara Mensah ordered that Pawlowski is held in a secure hospital indefinitely for treatment.


Dramatic footage of the attack, which caused £12,000 of damage, was played in court, showing Pawlowski’s car suddenly mount the pavement and smash into the front of the police station.

“Having smashed the vehicle into the building, it appears to have become wedged”, said Mr Milne. “He wasn’t able to go forwards and backwards, but the defendant was revving the engine while spinning the wheels at a very high speed, causing large amounts of smoke to appear.

“The defendant alighted from the vehicle, walked to the passenger side door, and removed a petrol canister. He poured petrol on to the office and walls, and walked into the road - in and amongst the traffic which continued to pass by.

“He then sets light to the petrol, which goes in to the direction of the police station. A public spirited member of the public detains the defendant, and police are at the scene.”

The car embedded in the doors of Edmonton police station (@iLLMADi)
The car embedded in the doors of Edmonton police station (@iLLMADi)

The court heard Pawlowski, a schizophrenic with no previous convictions, had been consumed by the delusion that a woman was the victim of trafficking and police were refusing to help her.

A doctor from Chase Farm Hospital, where Pawlowski has been detained since his arrest, said he is still believed to be harbouring the delusions that prompted the attack.

Pawlowski, from Goff’s Oak in Hertfordshire, admitted dangerous driving, criminal damage, and attempted arson being reckless as to whether life would be endangered.

Chief Superintendent Simon Crick, head of policing for Haringey and Enfield, said: "When shown parts of the footage during police interview Pawlowski laughed, but the actions he took that day could have had devastating consequences.

“The officers who responded were confronted with a chaotic and frightening scenario but acted with the utmost courage and bravery to swiftly detain Pawlowski.

“Following the incident support was provided to the staff who man our front counter, who were going about their work when this distressing ordeal unfolded. Very luckily, no one was injured.

“The member of the public who helped apprehend Pawlowski left the scene was never traced, despite extensive efforts. I’d like to extend our thanks to them for their bravery in assisting my officers.”

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