Two arrested in pub during police party

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Two suspected thieves were arrested when they walked into a pub where police were holding their Christmas party.

While celebrating in south London on Wednesday, off-duty officers noticed two men behaving suspiciously – and they appeared to fit the descriptions of those wanted after a spate of bag thefts in the area.

Police Constable Lucy Blackmore, Sergeant Richard Cloke and community support officer Craig Mulgrew detained the men and called for back-up at The Merchant pub, in Battersea Rise, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said.

Chief Inspector Charlotte Taylor said: “I am delighted that my officers acted in this positive way, particularly at this time of year when this type of crime causes considerable distress to victims.

“Their actions show police officers are never off duty and always willing to intervene when they suspect crimes are being committed.”

Two 19-year-old men were arrested on suspicion of going equipped to steal and were bailed to return next month, police said.