Movie-style chase through London's East End leads to commendations for cops
A POLICE officer who hung out the window of a van as its driver sped off during a movie-style chase has been commended for his courage and determination. PC Stuart Fagan and colleagues PC James Prandle, PC Phillip Holmes and PC Keith Whitbread all receive
A POLICE officer who hung out the window of a van as its driver sped off during a movie-style chase has been commended for his courage and determination.
PC Stuart Fagan and colleagues PC James Prandle, PC Phillip Holmes and PC Keith Whitbread all received honours at a ceremony at the Tower of London on Friday for their part in capturing escaped prisoner William Andrew Lynn, AKA BJ Steffan, in Bethnal Green.
Career criminal Steffan had escaped from prison in August 2007 after serving two years of a five-year sentence for an armed robbery at Totes Bookmakers in Roman Road.
He had been on the run for seven months when PC Fagan and PC Whitbread spotted him driving a van in Roman Road in March 2008.
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The officers followed Steffan into Digby Street where PC Fagan snuck up on the van and leaned in through the window in an attempt to take the keys from the ignition but Steffan sped off with PC Fagan hanging from the driver's window.
PC Fagan was able to free himself before he was injured and Steffan was chased by PC Whitbread in his car as well as PC Prandle and PC Holmes, who had responded to an emergency call, in a second car.
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The car chase ended in Bancroft Road where Steffan dumped his van before running into Meath Gardens where he was caught by PC Prandle.
Chief Insp David Grainger said: "BJ Steffan is a career criminal who has repeatedly demonstrated the danger he poses to the public.
"His capture can only make Tower Hamlets a safer place and it would not have been achieved without the resourcefulness, determination, teamwork and courage of these officers.