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Huge manhunt after police officer killed by criminal in stolen car

Murder: Merseyside Police have launched a murder investigation following the incident
Murder: Merseyside Police have launched a murder investigation following the incident

A murder investigation is under way after a policeman was mown down and killed by a stolen car.

The officer was standing on a central reservation when the stolen Mitsubishi car, being pursued by police following a burglary, mounted the kerb and hit him at speed before driving off, Merseyside Police said.

The stricken officer was given emergency first aid by colleagues and rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

The stolen car was found abandoned a short time later.

Merseyside Police have launched a murder investigation following the incident in Wallasey, Merseyside, at around 2.08am today.

Police said the neighbourhood patrol officer had been deployed to assist following a burglary at an estate agent's premises in Woodchurch Road, Birkenhead, just after 1am.

During the burglary the offenders stole a red Mitsubishi pick-up vehicle, which was spotted by a police patrol at 1.28am.

The stolen vehicle was being driven at speed and, when it was spotted by a police patrol car, a pursuit began.

The Mitsubishi was travelling along Wallasey Dock North Road in Wallasey when it mounted the central reservation where two neighbourhood officers were standing after deploying a "stop stick" - a device used by police to stop stolen cars during pursuits.

The vehicle struck one of the officers and was then driven off at speed.

Colleagues carried out CPR on the injured officer at the scene of the incident and he was then taken to Arrowe Park Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short while later.

The officer's family have been informed and a family liaison officer is providing support.

The stolen Mitsubishi was found abandoned soon afterwards in Corbyn Street, Wallasey.

Detectives are examining CCTV footage in a bid to identify the offenders.

Wallasey Road North, Corbyn Street and the premises in Woodchurch Road, Birkenhead, have been cordoned off while forensic examinations are carried out.

Diversions have been put in place in Wallasey Dock Road North and Woodchurch Road, Birkenhead, and if possible motorists are asked to avoid the areas and find alternative routes.

Officers are urging anyone who has any information which could help them find those responsible and bring them to justice to come forward.

Anyone who has any information which could help the police with their inquiries is asked to contact 0151 777 2263, or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.