Break-in: 'now we fight back'

PUBLISHED: 13:35 14 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:27 17 June 2010

SIDMOUTH man Stuart Hughes has been praised for wrestling an alleged criminal to the ground after a shop break-in.

SIDMOUTH man Stuart Hughes has been praised for wrestling an alleged criminal to the ground after a shop break-in.He is better known for his verbal battles in council chambers, but Mr Hughes got physical when he held down a man outside the Temple Street SPAR near his home.He said: "I thought 'has he got a gun or a knife?' that's why I grabbed him round the neck. "You do think 'have I put myself in danger?' but it sends a message that we have had enough...we've got to cut down on crime."PC Steve Lemon told town councillors this week: "Mr Hughes wrestled the man until police got there."He said two men were detained.A blushing Mr Hughes was congratulated by Councillor Graham Liverton, who said: "We have our own bodyguard now!"However, a Devon and Cornwall police spokesman told the Herald: "We urge caution about anybody becoming a have-a-go hero."The shop was broken into and alcohol taken. Mr Hughes was working on his computer at about 1.45am, when he heard the shop alarm.He said: "I rushed into my front room, looked out of the window and saw two characters coming out. "I rang 999 and gave police all the information I could, then ran to see where they had gone, but I couldn't find anything."Then I saw someone going past the cemetery and through a hole in the glass into the shop."Mr Hughes said the man broke free when he turned him around.A police spokesman said: "Each situation needs to be assessed before people become involved and I would ask that witnesses make detailed notes of what they have seen and call the police."The initial act of calling police helps us to get officers en route but the question at the back of everyone's mind will be how safe is it to arrest someone in the process of committing a crime." Two men are on police bail.

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