Essex UK May 14 2019
A 74-year-old volunteer policeman has been praised after chasing – and apprehending – a 29-year-old criminal.
Keith Smith, a special constable for Essex Police, caught John Tait after a foot chase through several streets and gardens.
The septuagenarian had tried to pull the younger man over after spotting him driving in the Benfleet area.
But Tait, who was wanted for motoring offences and harassment, was not for going quietly. After smashing his vehicle into a kerb, he ran off.
Undeterred, SC Smith – who has volunteered with the force for 22 years – bolted from his patrol car and pursued on foot, finally catching and subduing his man in a back garden.
Tait, of no fixed address, admitted driving while disqualified, driving without insurance, failing to stop and harassment when he appeared at Basildon Crown Court on 3 May.
He was jailed for two years and two months, banned from driving for more than two years and handed a restraining order.
Speaking after the arrest, Mr Smith said: “I’ve been a volunteer police officer since 1997 and have loved every minute of it.
“This is just one incident of many where I’ve played my part in helping to keep Essex safe.”
Matt Hine, road crime manager at Essex Police, added: “Keith should be really proud of himself, not just for this incident but for the thousands of times he has helped hundreds of people.