Police search river for shoplifting suspect

People with bright orange high-visibility jackets at a riverbank
Cambridgeshire Police officers searched the water with help from fire officers [Emma Baugh/BBC]

Emergency services have been searching a river after man is believed to have evaded arrest by entering the water.

Police said they were called at about 13:45 BST to the Asda supermarket at Viersen Platza in Peterborough.

A man wanted on suspicion of previous shoplifting offences was seen in the area but ran when police tried to arrest him, Cambridgeshire Police said.

He was believed to have entered the River Nene, the force said.

Town Bridge, leading into the city centre from London Road, was shut - causing disruption and long delays around the city.

A marked police car, fire engine and a crowd of people
Fire crews were assisting police in searching for the man who entered the water [Emma Baugh /BBC]

Specially-trained volunteers from the lowland rescue team Cambridgeshire Search and Rescue were helping police.

Its chairman Barry Carter said: "We will do our utmost to help find the missing person.

"They may have even got out of the water of their own volition and be at home, who knows, but we have a duty to support the police and a commitment to help them.

He added: "We're going to be going up and down with the boat with search poles and seeing if we can detect anything just beneath the water."

Barry Carter wearing red uniform of Cambridgeshire Search and Rescue looking at camera
Barry Carter speculated that the man may have gone home, but said it was his team's duty to help [Emma Baugh/BBC]

Ian Middlebrook, 63, walked into the town centre for a vet appointment with his dog and got stuck in the disruption.

"[It] sounds very drastic and shocking really," he said.

"But [I] hope they are OK."

Ian looking at the camera
Ian Middlebrook said he hoped the man was going to be OK [Emma Baugh / BBC]

Another onlooker, Sam Wilson, 48, said the incident was "shocking".

"The incident has caused a lot of disruption, causing havoc for traffic," she said. "It's over an hour's wait for a taxi."

Officers said a second man also evaded arrest at the scene and had not been located.

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service teams are continuing their search in the river with teams in boats looking for the man.

Follow Peterborough news on Facebook, Instagram and X. Got a story? Email eastofenglandnews@bbc.co.uk or WhatsApp us on 0800 169 1830

Related internet links