A HERO cabbie has been handed a community champion award for his efforts earlier this month in thwarting the theft of a Keighley bus by two teenagers.

Video: Youths appear to try stealing Keighley bus before being chased off

Zahir Ghafoor, the boss of Speed-line Taxis, in Keighley, said he was delighted to have been handed the award by Keighley Conservative councillor Mohammed Nazam in the presence of Keighley police inspector Khalid Khan and community liaison officer Shabir Khan.

Cllr Nazam said he had been so impressed with the quick-thinking cabbie that he wanted to put his name forward for a Keighley community award later this year, but in the meantime presented one from himself personally as ward councillor.

He told Mr Ghafoor: "You did an absolutely great and dangerous job by stopping this crime from happening. The consequences if the teenagers had managed to drive off in the bus could have been devastating."

Cllr Nasam added: "Zahir is a Keighley person who has lived here all his life and we should all be proud for what he did. It was a dangerous situation. The youths could have had weapons but Zahir wanted to put a stop to this crime from taking place."

Mr Ghafoor was at work in his mini cab office in Russell Street, Keighley, at around 5am on May 13 when he heard the bus engine. He went out to investigate and saw two teenagers who he thought were aged between 13 and 18, reversing the number 662 shuttle bus a short distance before trying to drive off.

He banged on the door shouting for them to stop and saying he was the police.

The two youngsters opened the bus door and fled.

"I was very proud to be given a community champion award. Many people have spoken to me about how I stopped the bus from being stolen after seeing the story in the press and on social media. I am thrilled that they thought I was worthy of an award."

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said they have not yet made any arrests in relation to the incident.