Detective Constable Frederick Tiplady was in the City of Glasgow Police, ‘B’ (Marine) Divisional C.I.D. and on 1 September 1952, was a passenger on a tramcar in Argyle Street, Glasgow, when he saw a wanted man standing at a tram stop on the other side of the street.
Det. Constable Tiplady left the tramcar and boarded another going in the direction of the wanted man. The man got onto the tramcar and after a while disembarked at Partick Cross, carrying a parcel. He was followed by Tiplady and as the officer was about to seize hold of him, the man swung round, drew out a revolver and threatened to fire. The man then turned and ran off pursued by Tiplady.
An extensive chase took place but Det. Constable Tiplady lost sight of the man in nearby church grounds, where the discarded parcel, containing stolen property, was found.
Later that day, Det. Constable Tiplay received a report that a loaded Webley air pistol had been found in the church grounds. Constable Tiplady and another officer, attended at the church and made door to door enquiries at surrounding houses. In one of the houses, they found the wanted man who, when approached by the officers, drew a large knife, holding it in a threatening manner. Det. Constable Tiplady managed to gain possession of the knife and arrest the man, although he suffered minor injuries to his wrist.
The man, named ‘The Night Hawk’ by the press, later admitted a total of twenty-six charges of breaking into homes when the occupants were asleep. He was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment.
Detective Constable Tiplady was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Brave Conduct and the Glasgow Corporation Bravery Medal in recognition of his courage and devotion to duty.