A fair cop

PUBLISHED: 11:32 18 May 2006 | UPDATED: 10:09 06 May 2010

Caught in the act..

Caught in the act..

THERE was trouble in store for one of Britain s dumbest shoplifters when she was caught trying to steal from a shop full of student police officers. The woman was arrested during a training operation at Morrison s store in Letchworth GC last Friday. Hert

THERE was trouble in store for one of Britain's dumbest shoplifters when she was caught trying to steal from a shop full of student police officers.

The woman was arrested during a training operation at Morrison's store in Letchworth GC last Friday.

Hertfordshire police had organised the exercise with volunteers pretending to be shoplifters and student officers practising their interview skills on them.

It was the first time the officers had worn their uniforms in the full gaze of the public eye.

The exercise took place at Morrison's because police training is now held at the new training centre opened at Letchworth GC police station in March. In the past student officers were sent to various centres around the country.

However the operation became real when one hapless person was arrested by a fully trained officer on suspicion of shoplifting. She was given a fixed penalty fine.

The training of the student officers proved to be a very useful exercise with one of the trainees, PC Gemma Grover, saying it was fascinating to finally wear the uniform in public.

She said: "It's a bit strange as people are staring at you. Because there are so many of us in the supermarket I think people might think something big is going on.

"I'm quite nervous about it but it will be really beneficial for when we get out there and do the real thing. It's a good exercise."

One of the volunteers, Philip Howard, from Shefford, posed as a shoplifter as part of the interviewing exercise.

He said: "It's the first time I have been in a role play. The officer that dealt with me was very professional. The standard of training is very, very high. He was very polite.

"I was questioned, searched, and had my details taken. I made out I was unemployed and had only money for food and needed to take something extra so I took a DVD.


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