TWO Redbridge Parks Police officers have been praised for their bravery in helping chase down and arrest a pair of bank robbers.

The constables, Harjit Dhinsa and Graham Jackson, leapt into action after spotting two men trying to wrestle a cashbox from a security guard outside Barclays Bank in Cranbrook Road, Ilford, on Tuesday, July 3.

The pair, who were on their way back to base after carrying out a routine morning patrol in Clayhall Park, jumped out of their 4x4 vehicle and pursued the robbers after the guard had blocked their getaway car with his van.

Constable Jackson arrested one of the men after cornering him in a back garden in St Edmund's Road, with the other suspect caught minutes later by officers from Redbridge police.

Proud Parks Police (PP) commander, John Boylin, said the incident, which involved Constable Dhinsa directing Met officers by radio, was an example of the key role his unit plays in helping keep Redbridge safe.

He said: "The Parks Police have come in for some unfair criticism recently and I hope this incident demonstrates to the public how effectively we work in partnership with the Metropolitan Police.

"These two officers demonstrated decisiveness and bravery in acting to stop the robbers getting away with a serious offence."

These sentiments were backed by PP Sergeant, Gordon McKinnon, who said the two constables drew on experience gained in their past careers to help them deal with the situation.

He said: "Constable Dhinsa was a prison guard and Constable Jackson has thirty years experience as a Met policeman, which helped them make the correct decisions when called upon."

The incident comes in the wake of controversy surrounding the legality of a recent decision to arm the council-funded unit with extendable police batons.

Mr Boylin, a former Metropolitan Police commander insists the move is necessary in order to protect his officers while they carry out their duty.

The robbery is being investigated by officers from the Metropolitan Police Flying Squad.

Anyone with information should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.