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Clacton: Have-a-go-hero MP helps catch shoplifter

19:14 24 January 2014

MP for Clacton Douglas Carswell

MP for Clacton Douglas Carswell

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An Essex MP turned have-a-go-hero and helped catch an alleged shoplifter in his constituency today.

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An Essex MP turned have-a-go-hero and helped catch an alleged shoplifter in his constituency yesterday.

Member for Clacton, Douglas Carswell, said he saw the man running down Pier Avenue in the town with items falling out of his pockets, and store detectives in pursuit.

After outpacing the suspect and pinning him against a wall, he told him: “You probably don’t want to hear this, but I’m your local MP.”

Mr Carswell, who runs daily to keep fit, said: “There was a rather loud shout and someone sprinting as fast as they could down Pier Avenue.”

“They looked like a ne’er-do-well. I thought, ‘I can outpace them’.”

He added: “As I was chasing him various items of shopping were falling out of his pockets and trousers. I chased them down an avenue and put them against a wall.”

Mr Carswell, 42, said he was “quite surprised” how easily he managed to catch up with the suspect.

“The thing I was really thinking about was, I hope my iPad, which was tucked under my arm, was safe.”

The MP joked that he was tempted to take a ‘selfie’ photograph after capturing the individual, but decided just to put the news on Twitter instead.

He said when the police arrived they thanked him for his efforts, and took the suspect away.

Following his posting on the social media site Twitter, where Mr Carswell praised the police response time for being “pretty effective”, a number of people commended him for his actions, including West Suffolk MP Matthew Hancock , who wrote: “Community leadership in action!”.

Last night a spokesman for Essex Police said: “Police have arrested a 29-year-old man of no fixed address after he was detained by store security and a member of the public following an allegation of theft of aftershave.

“The incident at Boots on Pier Avenue in Clacton was reported to the Police just before 1.20pm today.

The arrested man is currently in custody.”

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