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Quick-thinking police officer borrows bike off passer-by to chase down and arrest fleeing drug dealer

PC Lewis Marks has been praised for his "good old-fashioned policing" in setting off after the suspect on two wheels, leading to an arrest and a three-year prison sentence...

Northamptonshire Police has praised the "quick-thinking" and "good old fashioned policing" of one of the force's officers after a cycling copper, who borrowed a bicycle from a bystander, set off after a drug dealer on two wheels, before ramming them to the ground, arresting the suspect and ultimately helping to see them jailed.

Police responded to a report from a member of the public in Northampton town centre on August 23, at around 11.45am, that there was a possible drug deal taking place near Commercial Street, the suspect Sean Christopher Prosser fleeing by bike as officers arrived at the scene.

However, PC Lewis Marks drove to Beckets Park where he was pointed in the direction of and then spotted the suspect cycling across the park towards Bedford Road. Switching transport with the help of a man cycling along the route, the officer is heard in the video asking to use the bike before setting off after Prosser.

CCTV footage then shows the officer intercepting the suspect opposite St John's car park, ramming him to the ground.

"I'm going to get this back to its owner, I've just grabbed it off a member of the public," PC Marks can be heard saying in footage captured by his bodycamera once the suspect has been caught.

Returning to the park he then found the bike's owner, shook his hand and said: "Mate, I caught him, wouldn't have caught him without your help, really appreciate that."

Prosser was searched and found to be in possession of "a large quantity of cash and phones with messages related to drug supply". A CT scan the following day showed "a plugged Kinder Egg toy case" which contained wraps of heroin and crack cocaine.

The 28-year-old pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs, as well as escaping from lawful custody, acquiring/using/possessing criminal property, being concerned in the supply of cocaine, and being concerned in the supply of heroin.

Returning to Northampton Crown Court on Friday he was sentenced to three years and eight months in prison.

"This incident was an example of good old fashioned policing where our officers and members of the public worked together to take down a man whose actions were a blight on the community," Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Beth Warren commented.

"The quick-thinking of PC Marks ensured Prosser was arrested swiftly and I'd also like to take the opportunity to thank the member of the public who let us borrow his bike.

"Tackling drug harm is a matter of priority for Northamptonshire Police and I hope this case demonstrates how quickly we act on community intelligence in order to make our town a nicer place to live."

In January, Northumbria Police said one of its officers had borrowed a bicycle and caught up with a motorist, who fled on foot after police suspected him of dangerous driving, leading to an arrest.

In April 2021, a Greater Manchester Police officer who was chasing suspected car thieves grabbed a folding bike from a cyclist who was riding the Fallowfield Loop.

The officer set off on the borrowed bike after the suspects, who were travelling in a Toyota Prius which had been taken in a robbery in Longsight. The chase ended when the suspects crashed into a lamppost and were arrested – with the bike then safely returned to its owner.

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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26 comments

Avatar
bigwheeler88 | 2 months ago
0 likes

If only the pig policeman had been close passed while on the bike. Then maybe they'd finally understand and appreciate what we go through every day.

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Car Delenda Est | 2 months ago
0 likes

Sure everyone applauds the officer now but if you swap bicycle with car it's a different story..

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wtjs | 2 months ago
4 likes

Crikey! Good work PC Marks!! Don't apply for any jobs in Lancashire, though, where you'll be a marked man for not having the sense to just give up and say pursuit was not possible.

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Dicklexic | 2 months ago
2 likes

New scam alert! I wonder if any scrotes ae now considering dressing up as a copper then 'borrowing' someones bike, only to ride off into the sunset instead?

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chrisonabike replied to Dicklexic | 2 months ago
4 likes

Someone told me that in China a good way to acquire a bike is to wait by some traffic lights.  Lots of bikes will collect there when the light is red.  You then yell "Stop!  Theif!" in your best Mandarin and apparently it's likely that one or more people will drop their bikes and scarper...

Sounded fanciful to me.  OTOH I'm not sure how far you'd get with the "fake policeman" gag either.  I'm not sure folks are going to volunteer their superbikes and if you get nicked I think there's a bonus for impersonating a copper...

I think the scrotes are already happy with the simplicity of "stealing bikes while wearing what you like using menaces and / or actual violence".  Or an angle-grinder, for those who are more shy.

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Rendel Harris replied to Dicklexic | 2 months ago
9 likes
Dicklexic wrote:

New scam alert! I wonder if any scrotes ae now considering dressing up as a copper then 'borrowing' someones bike, only to ride off into the sunset instead?

Not long ago in Islington I had a young lad run up to me as I was unlocking my bike saying mate, I'm desperate, my girlfriend is getting a train from King's Cross in 10 minutes, she's going to Leeds to see her father who's got cancer (credit for the pity card) and she's just called me, she left her ticket at home, I've got to get it there in the next five minutes, can I just borrow your bike and I promise I'll bring it right back here, ten minutes tops? I must say he was really quite a convincing actor, got a nice sense of urgency into his voice...up to the point when I said no problem at all, give me the ticket, tell me her name, where she's standing and what she looks like and I'll gladly take it to her myself, at which point he gave me a grin and a resigned shrug and strolled off slowly in the opposite direction to King's Cross.

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Car Delenda Est replied to Rendel Harris | 2 months ago
2 likes

nothing like getting the same story from the same guy in the same hour

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lonpfrb | 2 months ago
6 likes

Great work by Northamptonshire Police keeping the community safe from drug harm. Drug driving being an increasing element of Road Danger..

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Dnnnnnn replied to lonpfrb | 2 months ago
1 like
lonpfrb wrote:

Great work by Northamptonshire Police keeping the community safe from drug harm. Drug driving being an increasing element of Road Danger..

Sadly, I doubt it will make much, if any, difference. There are plenty others ready to be the next Sean Christopher Prosser.

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chrisonabike replied to Dnnnnnn | 2 months ago
3 likes

It's just pruning some excess.  The War on Some Drugs has been a fantasy (a self-sustaining, vastly costly, misery-enhancing and deadly one) since it started.

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Car Delenda Est replied to chrisonabike | 2 months ago
2 likes

Sometimes I wonder if selling drugs would even be profitable if the prices weren't so artificially inflated.

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chrisonabike replied to Car Delenda Est | 2 months ago
2 likes

Interesting.  It's a great example of a "free market" - free in the "what you get in reality rather than theory" sense.  (So there is random government regulation moderated by random intervention - corrupt officials and cops).  It's attracted serious economic study.  The later showed that for street-level dealers it almost certainly isn't a great choice.  But it's the lure of the genuine riches a step or two up the pyramid that probably recruits.  Plus the calculus changes if you're using the drugs yourself.

I'm sure prices would go down on legalisation, but ... maybe not vastly?  Probably worth looking at California to see?

After all things are not so different in the legit world - a question of degrees?  On the legal side of things we see cartels, price-fixing, variable pricing, loss leaders, working around import rules, keeping the price steady but compensating by changing product quality ... and indeed bribery, shady practice and violence!

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mark1a replied to chrisonabike | 2 months ago
5 likes

Controversial I know but the problems would mostly go away if the whole lot was decriminalised or legalised, dependence and addiction were treated with a medical approach and safe, supervised supply/consumption facilities, with an overall joined up focus on harm reduction. Things have improved in the field massively in the last 30 years but there's a long way to go. In my opinion of course. 

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chrisonabike replied to mark1a | 2 months ago
1 like

Maybe - current situation is certainly a horrid mess.  However I'm much more optimistic about us rapidly surpassing the Dutch in providing excellent alternatives to the private motor vehicle than I am of making progress on this issue...

In "drugs" we see a tangle of many of the complicated parts of our humanity which we often want to trivialise, ignore or disown.  Social mores (often intensely hypocritical), social control, social status, aspiration and mental heath.  And the effects of most drugs (personally and on others) will always be intensely salient.  (Unless your drug is "a cup of tea" - although conditions for those working in the tea fields are also questionable ...)

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Paul J | 2 months ago
11 likes

You wouldn't want to be lending the police a brand new or an expensive bike, based on what he does with it in that video.

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lonpfrb replied to Paul J | 2 months ago
1 like
Paul J wrote:

You wouldn't want to be lending the police a brand new or an expensive bike, based on what he does with it in that video.

It would be interesting to get some data (accelerometer) on the impact of the collision and of typical road potholes so be able to see which is more severe.
Obviously bikes are designed and built to withstand some bad surfaces...

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OldRidgeback replied to Paul J | 2 months ago
3 likes

Twist grip gears, so not expensive.

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ktache replied to OldRidgeback | 2 months ago
6 likes

Hey, my Rohloff has twistgrip...

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wtjs replied to ktache | 2 months ago
4 likes

So does mine- SJS Mercury

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BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP replied to ktache | 2 months ago
4 likes

So does my Enviolo CVT . . . but we know what OldRidgeback means. When I saw the copper accelerate away on the bike I thought - I bet that's in a high gear, imagine the strain on that worn chain.  

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cyclisto replied to OldRidgeback | 2 months ago
3 likes

My bike was bought cheap and now it is on its second decade, but is loaded with tons of memories. Its value for me is definitely higher for me than it would fetch on a marketplace ad and having it crashed like that would not make me very happy.

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Dnnnnnn replied to cyclisto | 2 months ago
1 like
cyclisto wrote:

My bike was bought cheap and now it is on its second decade, but is loaded with tons of memories. Its value for me is definitely higher for me than it would fetch on a marketplace ad and having it crashed like that would not make me very happy.

OTOH, it would have gained another, and possibly its most, memorable moment* to add to its palmares!

* I don't know what you've previously gotten up to with it, of course....

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cyclisto replied to Dnnnnnn | 2 months ago
2 likes

It would be a great memory too, but a potential cracked headtube joint on the next pothole would be a nastier memory.

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HLaB replied to OldRidgeback | 2 months ago
5 likes

Not in the grand scheme of bikes, etc but to some individuals a twist grip bike may be very expensive!

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Paul J replied to OldRidgeback | 2 months ago
3 likes
OldRidgeback wrote:

Twist grip gears, so not expensive.

Yeah, /that/ bike didn't look expensive, but if it was me the cop came up to wanting to commandeer my bike, I'd be quite reluctant now having seen that video!  1

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Rendel Harris replied to OldRidgeback | 2 months ago
3 likes
OldRidgeback wrote:

Twist grip gears, so not expensive.

Looks like a Btwin ST100, £229.99 or about £140 for a decent secondhand model, like most Btwins a pretty good bike for the money.

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