Thieves get away because Specials aren't allowed to give chase

PUBLISHED: 10:03 20 May 2009 | UPDATED: 23:32 15 June 2010

SPECIAL Constables in Axminster were helpless to stop suspected thieves because of health and safety restrictions.

SPECIAL Constables in Axminster were helpless to stop suspected thieves because of health and safety restrictions.Diesel was stolen from the Mole Avon store, in Station Yard, overnight between Friday, May 15 and Saturday, May 16.It is thought thieves struck at around 2.20am.Specials, who spotted the suspects returning in a car with its lights off, were unable to chase them when the car sped off.The Specials were on routine patrol in Axminster when they passed by the store, which has been targeted several times in recent months, and saw its gate open and that the chains had been cut.Mole Avon manager Steve Broom said: "It seems the thieves came back a second time when the police were on the corner - but the thieves were too quick for them to stop them or to grab the registration number."But, on the other hand, if they hadn't have been there, the thieves would have come back. "It was the police who alerted me and stopped a second offence. "They've done a good job in stopping it - the thieves were keen to get away."Neighbourhood beat manager for Axminster PC Darren Herridge said Special Constables were not authorised to chase vehicles.He said: "Specials aren't pursuit authorised and, in these circumstances, they weren't able to go after the offenders."However, because of the description of the vehicle that the Specials have given, it's given us a good lead.


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