Britain's 'quickest copper' chases vans on foot and has never lost a suspect

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Britain’s ‘fastest copper’ is so quick he’s never failed to catch a fleeing suspect in his six years on the beat.

PC Luke Watson is known for his big bursts of speed, and has even chased down a van on foot.

The acting sergeant, based in Waltham Abbey, Essex, once managed to catch and arrest three crooks at the same time and bring them all into custody.

In a fitting tribute, his bosses at Essex Police made a video of him in action, featuring bodycam footage from his hot pursuits.

PC Watson can be seen running after a van full of stolen goods along a busy road after it became too dangerous for police cars to keep up the pursuit.

He’s filmed smashing the driver’s window open with a baton before it speeds off.

Not to be deterred, he yells ‘stop the car’ and sprints after it, before apprehending the driver and passenger when the van crashes into another vehicle.

‘The way it was driving was so dangerous we couldn’t go after it, so I got out and ran,’ PC Watson explained.

‘In hindsight I was so close between the moving cars but I thought I just had to stop it.’

The female passenger was holding a Stanley knife, but was quickly overpowered by PC Watson.

The couple in the van were later convicted of theft, possession of a bladed article and possession of a class A drug.

In another incident, PC Watson and his colleague PC Liam McDonald entered an industrial estate to assist a police helicopter tracking a stolen BMW.

When the three suspects spotted his police car, they all turned tail and ran.

PC Watson said: ‘I ran up the bonnet of the car, jumped over the fence and arrested one of them.

‘I put him in handcuffs and I can see the other two in the distance. I know it’s just a straight road up to another industrial estate, so I thought I’d go for it – how far could they get?

‘I jumped a couple of fences and catch up with the first one and arrest him. 

‘The other one tries to lay low in the back of the car so I drag him out and then I’ve got the two of them like naughty school kids. 

‘I’ve got no handcuffs and I have to get more units down to deal with them and go and find the car.’

He arrested them at the site of the stolen BMW, where multiple other car parts were also found.

When he’s not keeping the streets of Waltham Abbey safe, PC Watson likes to put his quick feet to work by playing as a winger for Brentwood Rugby Club.

He said: ‘I really enjoy my job. We’ve got a good team and it’s great to get out and talk to people.

‘We have a good understanding of the area and we deal with the problems that matter to the community. People like seeing police officers.

‘Anti-social behaviour is an issue that always comes up and I find that it often comes with other problems. 

‘If people are making noise on the streets late at night or in alleyways, this might be drugs related. If people are hanging around on driveways, they might be involved in vehicle interference or theft.’

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