London Colney M&S hero let down by Herts Police

The 'have-a-go-hero' who helped stop a repeat M&S thief was disappointed with Herts Police's actions

The 'have-a-go-hero' who helped stop a repeat M&S thief was disappointed with Herts Police's actions - Credit: Archant

A Good Samaritan who helped with the conviction of a repeat thief when he blocked his escape from a store with his car has criticised Herts Police for their lack of professionalism.

The man, who wanted to remain anonymous, delayed the escape of 26-year-old Gareth Chumber-Kelley, of Enfield, when he stole £750 worth of items from Marks & Spencer in London Colney earlier this year and attempted to drive off.

Chumber-Kelley rammed the man’s car repeatedly, causing £1,000 worth of damage, but not before the Good Samaritan had snapped his picture which helped lead to Chumber-Kelley’s arrest and conviction.

The man said: “I did everything for them which enabled the police to secure an excellent conviction and sentence.”

But the man has since criticised Herts Police after they did not submit the £250 insurance loss to the court, which could have been lodged against the defendant, because they forgot the claim form.

He added: “I am starting to understand why the public are resistant to help the police at times and I cannot believe they have treated me like this. It shows a disregard for the simple interests of the witness and their needs.

“The police negligence, incompetence and lack of interest has therefore meant that I have not had my legal right maintained, and this criminal has been able to get away with the cost he has incurred.”

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The man said that when he spoke to the officer involved he responded by telling him how he could make a formal complaint.

Insp Adam Such, from the St Albans Neighbourhood Team, said: “We do very much appreciate the actions of this man outside M&S in London Colney, which led to police apprehending a shoplifter and bringing him to justice.

“However, as the man has submitted a formal complaint to Hertfordshire Constabulary regarding his claim for costs it would be inappropriate to comment any further about this matter at this stage.”