A police officer who doesn’t get much chance to get out on the job, on the streets, gave chase to a criminal on the streets of Leeds.
Chief constable Mark Gilmore and police and crime commissioner Mr Burns-Williamson attended a briefing for an ongoing operation aimed at reducing violent crime, keeping the city centre safe and providing a high visibility deterrent to public order problems. The joint operation is run with partners incorporating Street Angels, taxi marshall’s, door staff and West Yorkshire Metropolitan Ambulance Service.
Mr Gilmore were policing on the front line when they were flagged down on Briggate by a private hire driver who said a man had damaged his vehicle - leaving a large dent on the bonnet of his car.
The driver pointed out the suspect to Mr Gilmore and Mr Burns-Williamson. As they approached the man, he ran off.
They gave chase on foot for several minutes, before the chief constable eventually caught him on the Headrow and with assistance from other colleagues, arrested him for causing criminal damage.
“I am extremely proud of the police officers who are out there, day in, day out, keeping people safe and feeling safe.
“As chief constable, my responsibilities don’t allow me to get out on the ground as often as I would like. But I and my chief officer colleagues really value regular operational involvement and ensure we make time for it.
“That is why I have implemented a ‘ditch the desk’ policy encouraging senior officers and staff at all levels to get out and spend time with their staff each month. It gives managers a better understanding of the issues their staff are dealing with daily and also gives us a chance to discuss any potential problems and solutions.”
Police and crime commissioner for West Yorkshire Mark Burns-Williamson said: “Protecting frontline policing is imperative and evenings such as this once again demonstrate how hard officers and staff work at reducing and preventing crime.
“It’s good to see that the chief constable and other senior officers are ‘keeping their hand in’ regular operational visits when arrests have to be made. I experienced something very similar whilst out with a Neighbourhood Policing Team in Halifax recently when within 10 minutes of a call being received a suspect to a car crime was identified and arrested.
“Improving police visibility so communities are safer and feel safer, tackling anti-social behaviour and public disorder with this approach is working. I also want to thank all the partners for their hard work in preventing public order problems.”