Queens Award for PC Donald John McLeod
Just after midnight on Monday 10th September 1962, Constable Donald MacLeod of Lanarkshire Traffic Department, was on patrol duties in his Jaguar Traffic car. He was accompanied by two officers, Constables William Bryden based at Carmyle and Eric Robertson based at New Stevenston.
The officers saw a vehicle which appeared suspicious and was later found to have been reported stolen. The officers attempted to stop the vehicle however it failed to do so and a chase ensued, starting in Crawford through to Beattock and several other country roads taking the officers into 4 different force areas, Lanarkshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Ayrshire and Lothians and Peebles for a distance of over 60 miles. At one point 50 police officers were involved in the incident.
The occupants of the stolen vehicle drove at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. During the pursuit they threw a number of items toward the chasing police vehicle including a hammer, a boring bit, a tyre lever and a car seat.
The skill and driving of Constable MacLeod avoided colliding with these items and he maintained a close pursuit of the vehicle until it was abandoned. The occupants bailed out of the vehicle near to Ettrick Water, near to Selkirk. Two of them were arrested following a search of farms and outbuildings in the area. The third was arrested some time later.
The culprits were charged with 7 crimes including Attempted murder of the officers, 3 thefts of motor vehicles and housebreaking charges. They received 7 years imprisonment at the High Court in Glasgow. Lord Walker congratulated the three officers on their commitment and brave conduct.
Constable MacLeod was officially commended for his bravery and driving skills. He was mentioned in the London Gazette of 6th October 1964 receiving The Queens Commendation for Brave Conduct.
He received his award from Lord Clydesdale at the County Buildings in Hamilton.
Donald died on Friday 18th October 2019 at the age of 88 years.