Merseyside - saved suspected car thief from drowning
PC Neil Clark and PC Wayne Hargreaves (Top), PC Joshua Leach and PC Andrew Kinsey (Middle) and PC Steven McAllister (Bottom)
Brave PCs who ended up saving a suspected car thief’s life, when the car they were chasing ended up in a lake, have been nomindated for a national Police Bravery Award.
The officers were following a suspected stolen Audi, when the driver became aware and sped off. The police gave chase and PC Steven McAllister used his skills to ensure the car stayed on the motorway until it reached a junction where PC Neil Clark was waiting to deploy a stop stick. All four tyres on the Audi deflated, but the car managed to retain some speed and the driver carried on before heading to a side road, driving over a bank and into a lake, where it began to sink.
The officers could see the rear light of the car, which was almost totally submerged and drifting into deeper water. The driver was very distressed as he tried but failed to free himself through an open window.
It was obvious he was going to drown without help, and the officers they knew they only had seconds to spare. Despite the massive risks to their own safety, they entered the cold water in near total darkness to save the driver’s life. But when they reached the car, the weight of the water meant they couldn’t open the doors. By now the man was panicking, but even with the officers and man trying together they couldn’t open the doors. Eventually they managed to free the man by opening the boot and helping him to climb out into the water. Just seconds later, the Audi slid over the edge of an underwater ledge and sank 90ft to the bottom of the lake.
The man and the officers were all taken to hospital for checks and treatment for hypothermia but were discharged later. In the following days the Audi was recovered and it transpired that it had been stolen from Basingstoke and both its number plates and vehicle identification number had been cloned.
These officers showed extreme bravery and dedication, risking their own lives to save that of the offender.