Two of Greater Manchester's most senior police officers were caught up in an attempted armed robbery at a McDonald's.
Assistant Chief Constable Dave Thompson and Chief Superintendent Janette McCormick - in charge of the Trafford division - were in the fast food restaurant in Eccles at 7.30am when two men armed with a knife and a machete struck.
Mr Thompson, the joint-third highest ranking officer in GMP, spotted one of the masked pair behind the counter trying to kick in a locked door. He stood up and challenged him shouting `Oi' while Ms McCormick dialled 999.
Mr Thompson said that the raider pointed a knife at him before throwing a chair. The attackers escaped empty-handed. The two officers did not give chase although Mr Thompson got the registration of the getaway car.
Mr Thompson, who was not in uniform and was wearing jogging bottoms because he was later due to attend a self-defence class, said: "We made an assessment of the situation to see if it was safe to disarm them. I let them walk out of the front door, then ran to the door and shouted the vehicle registration to Chief Superintendent McCormick. Our priority then was then to secure a crime scene and gather as much evidence as possible.
"I was stood there in my track suit bottoms with no protective equipment. I would not have expected any of my officers to have intervened."
The devotion to duty of these two is examplary. But just whose example are they following - a senior Manchester officer was in the news recently and, by all accounts, he may have had an early morning meeting or two or three - or even ten. 'Methinks he doth protest too much' comes to mind when we have the repeated explanation of his informal attire. The claimed attendence at a police self-defence class is ironic. My memory is that such instruction included dealing with assailants armed with knives? Why do we have to spend money on such classes when it seems that the measured response is "Oi"? Given Mr Thompson's rank he will have attended any number of self-defence classes; perhaps he was doing an advanced Oi-shouting class?
What would be interesting is a Google map showing the addresses of these two and the Mac. Who knows - he may have left his 'protective equipment' in the bedside locker?