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Half marathon man PC: I was gutted when runaway suspect gave up

Meet the super-fit officer who's never lost a foot chase against fleeing offenders.

Long legs of the law: Road runner PC Kiran Patel

Long legs of the law: Road runner PC Kiran Patel

Date - 26th July 2018
By - Nick Hudson - Police Oracle
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Nearly 1,000 new PC recruits have joined West Midlands Police in the last three years since the manacles of government austerity and funding cuts began to be slowly released.

A lot of collars will have been ‘felt’ since then – but earlier this month one burglary suspect found he’d picked the wrong officer to try and outrun in a bid to escape the long legs of the law.

For his dash for freedom from the scene of a break-in found him pitted against a one-in-a-million opponent – in the shape of ‘Half Marathon Man’ Kiran Patel.

He proved no match for the super-fit WMP officer who regularly runs 13-mile challenges.

PC Patel – who joined the service in 2015 as part of the first cohort of officers since funding cuts forced WMP to suspend recruitment – was on patrol in the Stechford district of Birmingham when he responded to a 999 call reporting a group of men forcing entry to the former swimming baths building.

One man made off across grassland. But his runaway bid was short-lived as PC Patel – a club runner with a half marathon best time of one hour 48 minutes – quickly caught him up and made an arrest.

The officer said: “The guy realised I was closing on him and he gave up after about a minute.”

And he quipped:“I was gutted he stopped as it was on open grassland and I didn’t get a chance to stretch my legs.

“Running does come in handy as a response officer: I’ve had a few foot-chases since I joined the force, and haven’t lost any yet. I’m eagerly awaiting my next one."

PC Patel ran the Birmingham Half Marathon last year in fancy dress and raised more than £1,500 for Care of Police Survivors. The RAF 10k race – marking 100 years of the Royal Air Force – and the Great North Run are now in his sights.

The 27-year-old hit the streets in April 2015 alongside 81 other rookie cops who’d graduated from the West Midlands PC training scheme. Since then, a total of 966 new PC recruits have joined the force since then, injecting fresh thinking, enthusiasm and new skills to the ranks.

And PC Patel made an immediate impression in his police career – being named West Midlands Police’s Student Officer of the Year 2015 in his first year on the job!

Fast forward to this month and a 25-year-old man was arrested by PC Patel along with five others, aged from 18 to 26, who were also detained by colleagues on suspicion of burglary following the July 12 incident.

They were later released without charge as it was impossible to prove they’d forced entry to the unoccupied building. Two of the men were cautioned for drugs possession.

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