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Off-duty bobby's bravery honour; PERRY BARR: Award for policeman who tackled violent car criminals.

Byline: By Mark Cowan CRIME CORRESPONDENT

AN OFF-duty bobby who helped tackle two violent "career criminals" has been recognised for his bravery.

Traffic officer Mark Smith was out with his two young children in Erdington last February when he spotted the thieves breaking into cars.

He tailed them until colleagues arrived. But when they turned violent and tried to flee he stepped in to grapple one of them to the ground.

The pair were later convicted of a string of offences. PC Smith, based at Perry Barr's Central Motorway Police Group, was yesterday honoured with a police bravery award.

Chief Supt Stephen Dugmore, from Sutton Coldfield police station, said: "PC Smith went beyond the call of duty while off duty with his children."

PC Smith was off duty in his own vehicle, with his two children, when he saw two men breaking into a vehicle. The officer alerted the police as he following the pair to another location, where he saw them breaking into a second vehicle.

As uniformed officers arrived at the scene and approached the offenders, they tried to escape by ramming their vehicle into a police car and forcing another car out the way, eventually colliding with a second police vehicle. Their attempt to escape escalated into a violent struggle with officers PC Smith went to the help of his colleagues and restrained one of the men. "He clearly demonstrated the high standard of professionalism and dedication of officers in our service," added Chief Supt Dugmore.

"Without a thought for his own safety, he helped officers with the arrest of two career criminals and prevented officers suffering further injuries."
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jan 10, 2007
Words:272
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