Pupils witness staged arrest

A SHOPLIFTER was arrested by police as part of a staged operation in Nailsea.

Members of the police team arranged for former officer, Jackie McDonald, to act as a shoplifter, pretending to steal two bottles of champagne from Waitrose before being apprehended by the store’s duty manager. The police were called and the offender was arrested before being interviewed and having their finger prints taken.

The operation on June 14 was staged by PC Ray Bradley and PCSO Michelle Barret to allow four teenagers on work experience with the Nailsea police to witness a live arrest and see how suspected criminals are processed at a police station.

The store manager at Waitrose, Ed Duggan, also used the operation as a chance to ensure his staff knew how to react to an incident of shoplifting, with the duty manager unaware the shoplifter was acting.

This follows a spate of thefts that occurred at the store after it opened in Nailsea in September.

The four 15-year-olds on work experience with the police, Sophie Moore from Nailsea School, Backwell School pupils Sophie Godby and Oliver Hodgson, and Churchill Community Foundation School pupil Robyn Stanton-Humphreys, spent four days with the Nailsea police team from June 13-16.

During this time they also had the chance to learn about the role of police horses and dogs, visit the Portishead headquarters control room, talk to incident investigators, visit the identification suite and also learn about the road traffic department.

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PC Ray Bradley said: “This was a joint effort between the police, the schools and Waitrose.

“The pupils really had no idea the operation had been staged until we told them at the police station.”