A brave off-duty policeman, who was forced to dive out of the way from a car being driven at him by a suspect, said he was just acting instinctively.

Sergeant Simon Kirkham was driving to work through Handsworth, Sheffield, last Wednesday (13 October) at 1.32pm when he spotted a woman being attacked by a man.

Sgt Simon Kirkham insisted he is not a hero

Speaking exclusively to NEW Sheffield Issue, the police officer said his first instinct was to pull over and check on the welfare of the woman.

Sgt Kirkham said: “I started to approach as quickly as I could. The man got into the car and as I got closer, he started the engine and just sped away.

“But instead of pulling out onto the road, which I thought he would do, he came along the path directly at me.”

He added: “You instinctively get out of the way as quick as you can – I had to quickly dive behind a little signpost.”

After the terrifying ordeal, Sgt Kirkham, 52, who is part of the neighbourhood policing team for Walkley and Hillsborough, immediately went to check on the victim before collecting evidence from the scene and witnesses.

The incident occurred after the woman tried to apprehend the man who was stealing the catalytic converter from her car on her front driveway.

Sgt Kirkham, who had no back-up or even a baton, said: “I think he was thinking I might be coming to intervene. It was an act [to drive at him] which I thought wasn’t necessary, he just came at me and went off.

“I dodged the vehicle and didn’t get hit which is a win, but this lady fought this chap and she was really shaken up. I saw her bravery and the other members of the public who are not police officers who came to help.”

Despite risking his life to help prevent the crime, Sgt Kirkham maintained he was not a hero and was simply reacting in the way ‘most right-minded people would have done’.

He said: “I genuinely think every police officer I know, seeing what I saw would’ve done the same.

“I don’t think it is heroic. The way the victim handled herself, that speaks volumes.”

Police are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the incident or has dashcam footage to come forward with information. You can contact them by calling 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.