‘Thank you for arresting me’ - drink driver praises officer

Metropolitan Police Commissoner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe

Metropolitan Police Commissoner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe - Credit: PA WIRE

A drink-driver has written an incredible letter to police praising the officer who arrested him, saying the Pc helped him turn his life around.

The unnamed man, 45, told Met commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe he had learned a “very valuable lesson” from Pc Martin Gillett after stopping him in September last year.

The letter, sent last week, states: “Your officers do a fantastic job and I think he saved me from going down a path I was heading for.”

A modest Pc Gillett, who is based at Grove Road, Chadwell Heath, said the “heartwarming” letter was rare but he had treated the driver the same as he would anyone else.

The driver said he was treated with “courtesy and respect” after being taken to Romford station. When told he was being charged, he shook Pc Gillett’s hand and thanking him for stopping him.

The letter reads: “I have learnt a very valuable lesson and will never attempt to combine the two again, if I drink I won’t drive and if I drive I won’t drink.”

Pc Gillett, a traffic officer at Chadwell Heath, said: “Every officer likes to receive letters of thanks but this is an unusual one.

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“The fact this driver felt compelled to write to the commissioner is heart warming.

“The chap had been arrested and was ultimately charged. So to receive thanks is very rare indeed.

“He was very compliant and humble from the start and gave me the impression he knew what he did was very, very wrong.”

Modest Pc Gillett added his colleagues would have dealt with the situation in the same way.

Leading road safety charity Brake praised traffic police for doing a “fantastic, life-saving job”.

Ed Morrow, campaigns officer, said: “Enforcement is more than just a blunt tool to punish drivers. As this letter shows, it is also a force for education, helping to ensure drivers who break the law know they have put lives in danger.”