Second honour for PC who chased down thieves

Date: Tuesday 29th May 2018
High Sheriff of Cumbria Simon Berry (left) and Chief Constable Michelle Skeer present PC John Spriggs with his award.
High Sheriff of Cumbria Simon Berry (left) and Chief Constable Michelle Skeer present PC John Spriggs with his award.

A POLICE officer who single-handedly chased down a suspected thief and arrested him along with two others has been commended for the second year in a row.

PC John Spriggs was honoured alongside other officers and staff at the Chief Constable Awards.

Last year, he was commended for saving the life of a missing elderly woman who ended up in the River Eamont, clinging to a tree branch.

This year’s awards ceremony audience was told how PC Spriggs attended Eden Grove School, near Appleby, following reports of noise.

A man was discovered in the process of stealing metal and then ran, with PC Spriggs setting off in pursuit while calling for back-up. The suspected thief jumped into a river from a bridge in an attempt to get away, but PC Spriggs continued the chase, entering the river himself.

PC Spriggs injured his knee, but refused to stop and, after a struggle, managed to detain the man. He had to drag the suspect up a steep embankment before returning to his police vehicle and securing him. While taking him to custody at Carlisle, PC Spriggs spotted a vehicle he suspected of being involved. He followed it and used his vehicle radio to call for back-up as his own equipment had stopped working due to water damage. When the vehicle stopped at a garage, PC Spriggs moved in alone, arresting and detaining both people. The three men were later charged with offences.

Sergeant Matthew Lowry said: “PC Spriggs’s actions are a credit to the constabulary. He went above and beyond in his efforts to secure and arrest the suspected metal thief and, not satisfied with that, was then able to make two further arrests thanks to his diligence and professionalism.”