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Durham security officer to be honoured after thief river drama
A SHOPPING centre security officer who chased a thief and stopped him jumping into a river in a bid to escape is to be honoured by the police.
Ken Morley, 31, a “security ambassador” at the Prince Bishops Centre in Durham City will receive a Chief Superintendent’s Commendation.
At about 2pm on June 19, the centre’s CCTV picked up a thief escaping after stealing aftershave from the complex’s Superdrug store.
Mr Morley chased after the man and followed him through the complex’s car park and onto the footpath alongside the River Wear.
The shoplifter threw his haul into the river and then tried to wade into the water, but Mr Morley pulled him back and detained him.
PC Paul Brown, who had been alerted by a radio message, quickly arrived on the scene to arrest the man.
Meanwhile, police community support officer (PCSO) Steven Bell got one of the rowing boats from near Brown’s Boathouse and rowed into the river to retrieve the stolen goods.
The arrested man admitted shoplifting and has been fined.
Mr Morley, a father-of-two who works for property management firm Savills, said he followed the thief 140 yards towards Baths Bridge.
“He turned back on himself and that is when I saw PCSO Bell on foot about 30 to 40 yards behind us on the opposite side of this wall.
“I leapt the wall and PCSO Bell saw us rolling towards the river and he grabbed my foot to stop me falling in and we pulled the thief out.
“PCSO Bell saw that he had dumped the gear and he retrieved it from the river.”
Chief Superintendent Ian Macdonald said: “Ken’s superb response not only showed the benefit of the Shop Watch system, but also demonstrated a high level of personal commitment to helping us keep Durham City safe”