Belfast Telegraph

Slam Duncan: Former top cop Duncan McCausland tackles fleeing suspect in Belfast drama

By Deborah McAleese

Retired Assistant Chief Constable Duncan McCausland lent a helping hand to former colleagues yesterday when he tackled a crime suspect running from police in Belfast city centre.

The former officer, who was recently arrested as part of an investigation into the awarding of police vehicle contracts, detained the suspected shoplifter until officers caught up with him.

Officers were spotted chasing the man through the city centre at around 2pm, but were unable to catch him.

According to eyewitnesses, Mr McCausland, who was walking in the Church Lane area close to Victoria Square, grabbed the suspected shoplifter by the arm and forced him onto the ground.

He detained the man until the officers arrived and handcuffed him.

A small crowd of bystanders cheered Mr McCausland as the suspect was arrested.

An eyewitness told the Belfast Telegraph that had Mr McCausland not intervened, the suspect would have escaped.

"A PSNI Skoda Octavia Estate coming from Church Lane turned up towards Cornmarket and then two officers in combats, body armour, green polo shirts and baseball caps ran up from the direction of Musgrave Street. I looked over and saw a lad running from them. He was cornered by Duncan McCausland who grabbed him by one hand, forced him to the ground and the rest of the police caught up," an eyewitness said.

He added: "The suspect had a white carrier bag. Mr McCausland walked on once the guy was cuffed. Lots of people cheered and whistled.

"Mr McCausland waved over when he heard the cheering. If it wasn't for Duncan McCausland, that guy was getting away."

Mr McCausland, who joined the RUC in 1983, retired from the PSNI in 2011 under the Patten redundancy scheme with a pay-off of £500,000. He was one of the PSNI's highest profile officers.

Since retiring Mr McCausland has served on a series of public bodies, including the Strategic Investment Board and the Maze/Long Kesh Development Corporation.

However, earlier this year he was one of seven men questioned about the awarding of police vehicle contracts. The men were arrested on suspicion of a range of offences including bribery, misconduct in public office, and procuring misconduct in public office.

Mr McCausland was later released pending reports to prosecutors.

After his release Mr McCausland said he "strenuously denies" the allegations. The 54-year-old said: "I am going to go out of my way to ensure I can prove my innocence."

After his arrest Mr McCausland decided to temporarily step aside from a series of public bodies, including a role in the Tourist Board.

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