Police in high-speed chase with jet skis on River Thames, before abandoning pursuit for 'safety reasons'

Vessels go 'screeching past' onlookers

Harriet Agerholm@HarrietAgerholm
Saturday 04 August 2018 23:16
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Police chase jet-ski riders along River Thames in London

Four jet skis have been pursued by police through London in a high-speed chase along the River Thames.

A Metropolitan Police boat was seen at around 6.30pm on Friday racing after the speeding watercraft, which were travelling from Greenwich to Canary Wharf.

Scotland Yard said it was “able to make them change their course”, but eventually called off the chase citing health and safety concerns.

Leigh Jackson, 34, watched part of the chase from his Surrey Quays balcony, where he was eating a meal with his partner and sister.

“You often do see police boats coming up and down here patrolling, but you don’t often see them engaged in a chase,” he said.

Mr Jackson described seeing the vessels “screeching past” towards central London at first.

“Then 15 minutes later they came back the opposite way, again being chased,” he said.

Despite the excitement of the pursuit, Mr Jackson feared the jet skis would collide with other river traffic.

The Metropolitan police confirmed on Saturday it had responded to reports of jet skis speeding down the Thames.

A spokeswoman said: “The jet skis were approaching central London and the Marine Policing Unit were able to make them change their course.

“Following this the decision was taken to no longer pursue the jet skis for safety reasons.”

Vessels on the Thames are strictly monitored to prevent accidents and protect wildlife.

Jetskis and other so-called “personal watercraft” are not allowed upstream of the Thames Barrier, to the east of where the pursuit took place.

Press Association contributed to this report

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