The cause of death of a detective who dropped dead while chasing two suspects remained a mystery last night, as tributes were paid by her colleagues.
Detective Constable Adele Cashman, 30, who grew up in North Somerset, died after pursuing two teenagers who were believed to have stolen a mobile phone in north London on Monday.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said a post-mortem examination yesterday proved inconclusive and results of further tests are awaited.
At 9.30pm on Monday, a 59-year-old woman had her smartphone snatched out of her hand in Haverstock Hill, Camden. She started chasing two youths who had run off and uniformed officers on duty in the area joined the chase.
They called for backup, including members of Camden Borough’s Crime Squad. Ms Cashman, one of two officers who chased a suspect, collapsed, dying less than two hours later in hospital.
Ms Chapman, who went to Churchill Community School and whose parents still live in North Somerset, was described as a popular, out-going, healthy young woman, who was known as Del Boy to her friends.
She joined the Metropolitan Police in 2006 and was stationed at Wandsworth Borough before transferring to Camden in 2010, as a detective constable.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said: “It’s a terrible tragedy for Adele’s family, it’s a terrible tragedy for her colleagues.
“Adele was an eager officer, she was in a crime squad, she was out there chasing criminals, which is I’m sure the reason she joined.
“She was out there being brave, getting stuck in, and then this great tragedy has happened. It is a terrible loss to everybody who knew her.”
“Her family must be desperately sad, particularly her parents, and obviously we will try to help them cope with the tragedy of losing their daughter but there is no easy way to do that.
“The best thing we can do now is to make sure we look after Adele’s parents and her friends.”
Commander Tony Eastaugh said: “Adele worked on both Camden and Wandsworth boroughs and was held in high regard by all who met her – she will be sorely missed by everyone who had the privilege of working alongside her.”
Detective Superintendent Richard Tucker, acting borough commander for Camden added: “Adele was a much loved and wholly dedicated officer. We at Camden are completely devastated at her sudden passing and our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this tragically sad time.”
Two 17-year-old boys have been charged with theft. A phone was recovered.