IAN RANKIN has paid tribute to a police dog named after his famous fictional detective - after it was mown down by a police 4x4 in a tragic accident.
Nottinghamshire police named one of their dogs after Dectective Inspector John Rebus, Scotland’s best-known fictional detective.
But on Wednesday morning Rebus the German Shepherd/Belgian Shepherd cross was killed by a police car in a chase through the Nottingham suburb of Colwick.
And on Wednesday evening Ian Rankin took to social media to pay his respects to the slain pooch - who was just four years old.
Addressing his nearly 100,000 Twitter following about the dog, he said: “Sad story. Rebus RIP.”
Rebus the dog was killed in the early hours of Wednesday morning in a police pursuit - after a car failed to stop for police.
He was killed after being sent after the suspects at around 3.00am - and being struck by a police 4x4.
According to police the dog was given emergency care at the scene, but died of his injuries with his handler at his side.
Chief Inspector Andy Hall, of the East Midlands Operational Support Service (EMOPSS), said: “This incident is being fully and actively reviewed, and we await the findings. I take the view at this time, however, that it appears to have been a tragic accident.
A valued police dog and a loyal companion, Rebus certainly would have known he was loved.Andy Hall
“I would like to acknowledge and commend the care given to Rebus in his time of need. Not only did an officer provide CPR at the scene, a number of members of the public offered their assistance.
“A valued police dog and a loyal companion, Rebus certainly would have known he was loved.
“Our colleague is devastated and the officer who was driving the vehicle is understandably distressed. They are being supported by their team and they in turn are being supported by their associates.
“Rebus was not only a fine police dog, he was a member of our policing family. His impeccable service was acknowledged at a memorial today in which DCC Sue Fish laid a wreath in his honour.”
Rebus joined the Nottinghamshire police force as a pup in July 2012.
In his four years on the force, police say he has been responsible for detaining “numerous” suspects.
And since EMOPSS was launched last year - to provide specialist dog sections, armed teams and riot police to the region - the canine has attended 313 incidents.
Shepherd breeds tend to live up to the age of 14 - meaning that Rebus was cut down in his early years.
Three teenage boys were arrested at the scene of the chase on suspicion of theft.
On Wednesday the two 15 year-olds and 17 year-old were being held in police custody for questioning.