Cyclist hits out at police after being wrongly accused of shoplifting

Anthony Winter was stopped on his bike and searched by the police, despite the fact there was no rea

Anthony Winter was stopped on his bike and searched by the police, despite the fact there was no reason for him to be stopped. - Credit: Archant

A CYCLIST has hit out at police after he was stopped and wrongly accused of shoplifting.

Anthony Winter, 36, was stopped by a police officer last Wednesday when he was cycling to Royston station from his work in Bassingbourn. He says the officer searched his bag and took his details after Tesco had reported him for stealing an innertube from their store in Royston.

Mr Winter, a father-of-two from Letchworth GC, was contacted by the officer the next day who said that CCTV footage had been reviewed and he was in the clear.

“I think I was easy to spot for the policeman as a cyclist on a folding bike with a big fluorescent cycling jacket on,” said Mr Winter.

“The only grounds the police officer had was that I had been in the store. I didn’t even go near the innertubes.

“The waste of police time was a joke and the completely unjustified personal invasion and false accusation were entirely unacceptable. Why was I stopped before the CCTV footage had been reviewed properly?

“It is scary that just being present in the store at a certain time could lead to this.”

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A spokesman for Herts Police said: “An allegation of shoplifting was made by Tesco to an officer last week. The officer looked into the matter and spoke with a man about the alleged incident. The man was not arrested and not searched. Following further inquiries with Tesco the allegation was unfounded and the officer ensured the man was updated as a matter of courtesy at the earliest opportunity.

“No complaint has been made to the Constabulary about the incident.”

A spokesman for Tesco said: “This is a matter for the police, but we are sorry for any inconvenience caused to our customer.”