Essex cops and robbers on the run for Virgin London Marathon

ESSEX cops will be chasing down robbers for 26.2 miles on Sunday ... but it’s all for a good cause.

Chief Supt Jed Stopher will be leading a squad of nine runners from the Essex force in the London Marathon.

They will be joined by two officers from the Greater Manchester force and an officer from Northern Constabulary.

They are running to raise cash to buy life-saving equipment at Broomfield Hospital. Already �9,000 has been pledged and the group hope to top �12,000.

The team members last ran the event in 2009.

Then they raised �10,000 to help equip an intensive care unit at Broomfield, with advanced life-saving equipment.

This year they will be raising money towards a fund to buy specialist equipment for a special intensive care baby unit at the hospital. The equipment needed includes intensive care incubators costing �30,600 each, ventilators costing �20,500 and breathing monitors at �520.

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The Essex team has run in uniform before and has a knack of attracting attention from the media.

Chief Supt Stopher, who will be running his 10th marathon, said: “Every year we somehow manage to get interviewed by the BBC reporters around the course, and in the past we have been interviewed on the run by celebrities including Seb Coe and Steve Cram.”

He added: “I know that many people have sponsored us in the past and that the credit crunch is also biting, but the ICU is a life-saver and it saves babies’ lives.”

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