Trainee officer tackles suspected shoplifter while shopping off-duty in Seaton Delaval

An off-duty trainee officer tackled a suspected shoplifter during his weekly shop.

Thursday, 18th February 2021, 5:00 pm
A 37-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting

PC John Ancrum had just paid for his items at the Lakes and Dales Co-operative in Seaton Deleval yesterday evening when he heard a ruckus in the store.

He spotted two staff members challenging a man who began to flee from the store.

After confirming with staff that it was a believed shoplifter, PC Ancrum put down his shopping bags and raced to catch the suspect.

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Following a short scuffle he successfully pinned him, explaining his officer status.

He marched him back to the store and waited with staff for his on-duty colleagues to arrive and make a formal arrest.

PC Ancrum, 39, who is in the second year of his Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA), said: “I was chasing him before I even knew what I was doing – the training kicked in and there was no time to second guess.

“I definitely got more than I bargained for with that trip to the shops – so did the suspect – but I’m pleased I was able to help.”

A 37-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting and has since been charged.

Northern Response Chief Inspector Colin Lowther said: “This was a brilliant example of a PC going above and beyond to protect the communities we serve.

“PC Ancrum’s training kicked in and thanks to him a man has now been charged with shoplifting and is due to appear in court next month.

“It fills me with pride to know that we have officers such as PC Ancrum who are willing to work tirelessly – even when not on shift.”