Sunday 19 November 2017

Britain’s ‘RoboCop’ critical after hit and run while he was out cycling

Danielle Dwyer

A POLICEMAN once nicknamed "RoboCop" for his work on a city estate remained critically ill in hospital today after a hit-and-run collision, police said.

Pc Diederik Coetzee, from Nottinghamshire Police, was struck by a car from behind as he cycled along Blidworth Lane in Nottingham on Friday.

The 54-year-old was off-duty when the incident happened, at around 6pm. Police said he was wearing a high-visibility vest and had his bike lights turned on.

A force spokeswoman said he was still in hospital in Nottingham this morning. His condition was described as critical but stable.

The Mansfield South beat officer made headlines in 2005 after making hundreds of arrests in a year, patrolling Mansfield's Ladywood estate on his bike. Nottinghamshire Police said he joined the force in June 2001.

Police said debris from the scene of the collision indicated the car involved may have been metallic dark grey in colour and could have front-end damage to the bumper, grill and at least one of the lights.

Detective Sergeant Ged Hazelwood said: "Pc Coetzee is a well known member of the Mansfield beat team and well-liked by both the community he serves and his colleagues.

"I would like to personally appeal to the motorist involved to get in touch.

"Perhaps you didn't realise the consequences of your actions at the time. Owning up to what happened will benefit you hugely in terms of any possible consequences of your involvement.

"The sooner you come forward, the sooner we can get to the bottom of what happened and provide some answers to Pc Coetzee and his family."

He added "If you think you have any information about the vehicle or motorist involved please contact us."

Nottinghamshire Police's crash investigation team is examining CCTV footage from the area surrounding the scene, a spokeswoman said.

Deputy Chief Constable Chris Eyre added: "Local officers are providing support and regular updates to Pc Coetzee and his family at this very difficult time.

"Our thoughts and best wishes are with them."

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