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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 August, 2003, 14:21 GMT 15:21 UK
Policeman killed in burglar chase
Pc Andrew James
Pc Andrew James was said to have had "tremendous potential"
A policeman has died after being hit by a car while chasing a suspected burglar.

Pc Andrew James, 38, who was married with a young daughter, was responding to a burglar alarm at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.

He was pursuing a man he suspected of breaking into the college when he was struck by a passing Volkswagen Golf.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the accident and want the man who ran off to come forward.

This tragedy has left all his friends and colleagues deeply shocked and saddened
Det Supt Geoff Cooper
The incident happened at 1815 BST on Saturday at the college on North Road, near the city centre.

Pc James had driven to the college campus where he spotted a young man in a baseball cap turn and run away.

He was struck by the car as he tried to get across the road without losing track of his target.

Multiple injuries

The suspect was heading towards Cathays Park, where thousands of people were attending the Big Weekend festival.

The area is Cardiff's civic centre and home to City Hall, the crown courts and university, but was hosting bands and a giant funfair.

An appeal for information at the spot where Pc James was injured
Pc James suffered multiple injuries when he was hit near the pedestrian crossing in front of the college.

He died four hours later at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.

Colleagues of Pc James broke the news to his wife at their home in Caerphilly, south Wales. She was described as "distraught".

The couple have a five-year-old daughter. Pc James' wife has a 17-year-old daughter.

'Tremendous potential'

Detective Supt Geoff Cooper, head of Cardiff CID, said: "Even though Andrew had only been with South Wales Police for three years, he clearly possessed tremendous potential and had made a huge impact on his colleagues and supervisors.

"He was an enthusiastic and dedicated officer who was well-liked and respected by those he worked with.

"This tragedy has left all his friends and colleagues deeply shocked and saddened.

Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama sign
Pc James was responding to a burglar alarm at the college
"We will all miss him greatly. Our thoughts are with Andrew's family."

The car driver was described as "very upset" at the tragedy. He has been questioned by police but is not expected to be charged with any offence.

The crossing is controlled by lights which were showing green for drivers at the time.

Police later established there had been a burglary at the college, and it was being investigated.

The burglary suspect was described by police as "possibly of dark-skinned appearance" wearing a light baseball cap and dark clothing.

An incident room has been set up at Cardiff Central police station.

Anyone with information about the burglary or the accident is asked to contact police on 029 2052 7420 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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