Cleveland Police are appealing for information after the brakes of a marked police van were intentionally cut and the tyres damaged as officers responded to a 999 call in Hemlington.
Police said that the criminal damage is thought to have happened between 22:30 hours and 23:30 hours on Tuesday, November 2.
Two officers were crewed in a marked Ford Transit van and had travelled to an emergency in Hemlington.
The police van was parked on Earls Court Road at the junction of Cass House Road.
When officers returned to the vehicle, both tyres on the passenger side were damaged and had to be replaced.
But when the officers drove away to be redeployed and attempted to slow the vehicle, they found the brakes were not working on the approach to Hemlington Hall Road roundabout.
Only moments earlier, they had driven past a school and a zebra crossing.
The driver was able to pull the car over but realised the seriousness of the problem.
Another officer attended the incident to assist and confirmed the rear brake pipe had been intentionally cut.
Assistant Chief Constable Lisa Theaker said:
“Those responsible put these officers lives at risk and endangered the public.
“It shows absolute disregard to police who were attending an emergency incident, and they have used this opportunity to cause costly and dangerous damage.
“This also meant the loss of a vehicle available to answer 999 calls last night.
“This was a selfish and callous act, and we will work to identify those responsible and bring them to justice.”
Police ask anyone who thinks they may have information to assist to call Cleveland Police via 101.
Alternatively, speak anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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