Off-duty detective praised for catching alleged Sunderland shop knifeman

A Northumbria Police officer in Sunderland city centre.


A SENIOR Northumbria Police officer has praised an off-duty detective who bravely detained a suspected shoplifter accused of threatening staff with a knife.

Shortly after 3pm on Saturday (November 7) police were alerted to a disturbance in Sunderland city centre.

It was reported that a shopper had stolen items from Poundland, in High Street West, and had then been confronted by security staff – but then allegedly pulled out a knife and made threats before running away.

But an off-duty detective constable who saw the incident was on hand to chase after the suspect and detain him until officers arrived at the scene.

Detective Chief Inspector Michelle Robson has praised the officer involved, for putting the public’s safety above his own in a bid to catch the suspect.

“This is a fantastic example of an officer going above and beyond to protect the communities we serve,” she said.


“It fills me with pride to know that we have officers like him working … to ensure Sunderland remains a safe place”


“The detective involved was not at work and was enjoying a well-earned day off – but his dedication shone through after seeing a crime take place and the suspect making off.

“He did not know whether the suspect was in possession of a knife or not – which makes his bravery even more commendable.”

DCI Robson added: “Our officers come into work knowing they could be faced with dangerous and difficult situations, and clearly putting the public’s safety before their own is paramount.

“However, I would like to personally thank the detective involved for his outstanding and admirable actions while off-duty.

“It fills me with pride to know that we have officers like him working in the force, who show such determination and professionalism, even when not on shift, to ensure Sunderland remains a safe place to live and work.”

A 43-year-old man was arrested and has since been charged with theft and possessing a pointed article. He is due to appear in court next month.

Northumbria Police are supporting Operation Sceptre, a national week of action geared at tackling knife crime and the devastating harm it can cause.

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