London SE1 website team

Borough bank customer who chased ‘armed robber’ was senior cop

A member of the public who chased a suspected armed robber through the streets of Southwark has been revealed to be a senior Metropolitan Police officer.

Commander Adrian Hanstock was one of a number of people who intervened following the attempted robbery at Barclays Bank on Borough High Street on Thursday afternoon.

Commander Hanstock had left the bank when moments later he was confronted with the fleeing suspect.

At this point another member of the public had joined Commander Hanstock and the two gave chase.

The suspect became aware that he was being chased and then aimed the firearm. Confronted with a weapon those chasing the suspect were stopped in their tracks and this gave the suspect the opportunity to run off.

He was later stopped when other members of the public were able to tackle him to the ground and detain him whilst the police made their way to the scene.

Early forensic examinations on the firearm suggest that the weapon is a deactivated assault rifle which is classified as an imitation firearm.

DCI Paul Johnson from the Flying Squad said: "There were a number of members of the public that assisted with detaining the suspect involved in yesterdays attempted robbery, without their help there is every possibility that he may have got away.

"I would like to thank all those who demonstrated an enormous amount of bravery in confronting the armed man, especially those who showed little fear in tackling him to the ground and keeping hold of the suspect until police arrival.

"A number of people were involved in stopping him and due to their combined efforts a potentially dangerous man has been arrested.

"The investigation into the circumstances of this incident are still ongoing and we are in the process of taking statements from all those who played a part in detaining the suspect".

A man in his thirties remains in custody at a south London police station.

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