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Police officer dragged by van at ‘fairly high speed’ while firefighters tackled blaze at chip shop

PUBLISHED: 17:20 21 March 2018 | UPDATED: 08:00 22 March 2018

Firefighters responding to a blaze at a chip shop on Bridge Street. Picture: Nick Bird

Firefighters responding to a blaze at a chip shop on Bridge Street. Picture: Nick Bird

Archant

An emergency response to a fire at a Fakenham chip shop became the scene of a dramatic police pursuit when a driver failed to stop at a road block.

More than 30 firefighters were dispatched to tackle a blaze inside Mr Chips on Bridge Street, shortly after 11am.

While the fire brigade battled to get the fire inside the building under control and evacuated shop workers, police officers secured the area and cordoned off the car park. They also setup road blocks to prevent cars gaining access to the road.

At one of these road blocks a driver failed to stop and attempted to continue on to Bridge Street, according to a Fakenham resident who witnessed the incident.

“I heard the sirens and went to nose around at the fire and as I was walking down Bridge Street, I saw police having an altercation with a van driver,” said Stuart Cutler.

“The van started to reverse and it looked as though the police officer tried to get the keys.

“The van ended up reversing with the policeman half inside the window. The officer was dragged at fairly high speed before he fell out of the window. It was a miracle he was not run over.”

Mr Cutler said the officer was quick to get back on his feet and with a number of other officers, he tried to stop the van which had entered a nearby car park.

“Along with some other residents we tried to help the police and pursue the van,” Mr Cutler continued. “We thought we could get to end of the car park and he’d get stuck there but before we could get to the end of the road he pulled out in front of a lot of traffic.

“That was when the police came by and managed to stop him.”

Norfolk Police confirmed that a man in his 50s had been arrested on suspicion of failing to stop, assaulting a police officer and dangerous driving following an incident on Queen’s Road shortly after midday.

He remains in custody at King’s Lynn for questioning.

Fakenham inspector Edward Brown said: “Police Officers had closed vehicular access to Bridge Street whilst our colleagues from the Fire Service dealt with the incident at Mr Chips.

“An officer was assaulted whilst stopping traffic. We are very thankful for the members of the public who saw the incident and immediately offered support. Fortunately the officer only has minor injuries.”

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