Is this Britain's fastest cop? Watch as officer vaults over fences to catch thieves and chases down robbers in a van

26 January 2023, 22:20

PC Luke Thomas
PC Luke Thomas. Picture: Essex Police

By Kit Heren

A police constable has been labelled Britain's fastest officer, with footage showing him effortlessly chasing down criminals.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

PC Luke Watson, the acting sergeant for the Waltham Abbey Town team in Essex, has never lost a footrace in six years as a police officer suspects.

In newly released bodyworn video of PC Watson in action, he chases down a van linked to a series of thefts, and in a second incident, catches and arrests three young men in a single chase at a site where stolen car parts were found.

In the first video, PC Watson was patrolling in Waltham Abbey and chased the van on foot when it became too risky to follow it between two rows of cars.

“The way it was driving was so dangerous we couldn’t go after it, so I got out and ran. In hindsight I was so close between the moving cars but I thought I just had to stop it,” said Luke.

Essex Police release video of ‘Britain’s Fastest Copper’

The van crashed into another vehicle and PC Watson was able to claw his way in.

The female passenger was holding a Stanley knife but he was quickly able to overpower and arrest her. The couple in the van were later found guilty of theft,  possession of a bladed article and possession of a class A drug.

In the second incident, PC Watson and colleague PC Liam McDonald came into an industrial estate to help a police helicopter that was tracking a stolen BMW.

The three suspects ran off when they saw the police car.

Read more: Terrifying moment fake taxi driver lures woman into his car before raping her

Read more: Killer caught on CCTV walking with man she knifed to death - before phoning pal to say ‘I’ve just murdered someone’

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 not handcuffs and I have to get more units down to deal with them and go and find the car.”

PC Watson, a rugby player in his spare time, 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 inference or theft.”

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Jay Slater had travelled to the Canary Islands for a music festival

Spanish police reject help from Lancashire Constabulary as desperate search for missing Brit Jay Slater continues

Kemi Badenoch has warned that Labour will reverse Brexit

Keir Starmer will 'reverse Brexit' if Labour wins election, Kemi Badenoch warns

Jay Slater had travelled to the Canary Islands for a music festival

Owner of flat where missing Brit Jay Slater was staying in Tenerife spotted him 'walking fast' up dangerous ravine

Labour is said to be drafting options for wealth taxes

Labour 'draws up plans for wealth taxes' in bid to 'unlock' funds for public services

Nigel Farage said that the West had provoked Putin into invading Ukraine

'We gave Putin an excuse': Nigel Farage says the West provoked Russia into invading Ukraine

Just Stop Oil plans major disruption to summer holidays with private jet stunt just the start

Two charged after Just Stop Oil protesters sprayed private jets with orange paint at Stansted Airport

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

Tories raise less than £300k in second week of election campaign, as over three-quarters of all donations go to Labour

File photo of passengers boarding an Easyjet plane

Chaos as Easyjet kicks 26 men off flight headed from the UK to Portugal for 'disruptive behaviour'

Bardia Shojeifard

'Outwardly normal' teen killer with 'worrying interest in knives' posed with huge blade before murdering Alfie Lewis, 15

Police were called to a property at Shorncliffe Road shortly after 3pm on Sunday

Pictured: Baby girl mauled to death in Coventry dog attack at family home

Public schoolboy guilty of attempted murder after vicious clawhammer attack on sleeping staff and students ahead of 'zombie apocalypse'

Public schoolboy obsessed by 'zombie apocalypse' guilty of claw hammer attack on sleeping staff and students

PC Idominik Efeotor raised the issue at the annual State of London debate

'The people who investigate the officers are the problem’: Black Met officer hits out at disproportionate treatment in disciplinary process

Salisbury Novichok victim Dawn Sturgess

Former spy and daughter may give evidence at Salisbury poisonings inquiry

Rishi Sunak has urged voters not to let Labour 'waltz into office'

'Don't let Labour waltz into office', Sunak tells voters as Brits may not 'ever' be able to get them out of power

Starmer says eco mob 'needs to feel the full force of the law' as he slams 'pathetic' Just Stop Oil

Starmer says 'pathetic' eco mob 'needs to feel the full force of the law' as two charged for private jet stunt

The M6

Drivers face misery as major motorway closed for three days next week, sending cars on 90 minute diversion