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Police officer commandeers bike to chase down car thieves

Action by Manchester (UK) officer wins praise on Twitter – while over the Channel, bike cops pursue and arrest Porsche 911 driver in a French town’s district… also called Manchester

A Greater Manchester Police officer has won praise after he commandeered a bike and chased down the driver of a stolen car who had crashed the vehicle, with its passenger also arrested – while across the English Channel, two bicycle police officers pursued a Porsche 911 and arrested the driver in a northeastern French town’s district called … wait for it … Manchester.

In a tweet, GMP Traffic Police said: “#XT21 sighted a Toyota Prius (stolen by robbery) in Longsight and after a short pursuit, It collided with a lamp post in Fallowfield.

“The driver thought he was quick on his feet, however, he couldn't out run PC Pilkington who commandeered a passing bicycle to catch his man.”

In a second tweet, they added: “Thank you to the owner of the bike. It was safely returned to him with our thanks.

“Two people have been arrested on suspicion of Robbery and they are currently in custody awaiting interview.”

Twitter users – including one who witnessed the pursuit – were quick to offer their congratulations.

The name of the officer involved also raised eyebrows on Twitter among fans of Line of Duty, the TV series that is currently pulling in millions of viewers on Sunday evenings.

Meanwhile, in northeast France, two bicycle police officers chased down and helped arrest the driver of a Porsche 911 who had been attracting attention over the previous fortnight for his antisocial behaviour including ignoring the rules of the road and causing his tyres to screech.

According to a report in L’Ardennais, the municipal police officers spotted him last Tuesday driving through a pedestrian crossing, almost running over some people who were using it.

They set off after him, and quickly got in front of the Porsche. A passenger in the vehicle tried to flee but was swiftly apprehended by one of the officers.

The other officer chased after the driver, who vaulted a wall as he tried to flee, and with the help from colleagues from the Police Nationale made the arrest, with a police dog helping recover a package of drugs the motorist is believed to have dropped as he tried to make good his escape.

The pursuit took part during what cycling fans know as Ardennes Week in a town, Charleville-Mézières that is the capital of the Ardennes department in northeast France – and, rather improbably, in a district of the town that goes by the name Manchester.

The driver of the Porsche, who is reportedly already known to the courts, was taken into custody while the vehicle itself was impounded.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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