Samaritans helped robbery victim in Leeds city centre while off-duty officer chased culprit

Briggate, Leeds city centreBriggate, Leeds city centre
Briggate, Leeds city centre
An off-duty police officer has praised Samaritans who came to the aid of a woman targeted by a robber in Leeds city centre.

Pc Ali McFadyen said the victim, a woman in Islamic dress, was left terrified after a man tried to snatch her phone outside H Samuel jewellers on Wednesday afternoon.

The woman had been reportedly on a visit to Leeds and was left “very shaken” and “feeling vulnerable” after the attempted robbery.

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Pc McFadyen was off-duty when he saw the incident unfold, and sprung into action to call help for the woman and chase after the would-be robber.

Despite being outrun by the culprit, Pc McFadyen praised the helpfulness of strangers.

Posting about the incident on his police Twitter account, he said: “Shout out to Leeds citizens who rendered assistance to the victim - a veiled Muslim woman [who] I think [was] visiting Leeds and made to feel vulnerable in a public space.”

He added: “I delayed too long working out what was happening and ensuring the victim was okay to catch him.”

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A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police confirmed the attempted robbery was reported at 2.30pm when a man tried to grab a woman's phone from her hand outside H Samuel.

The culprit was unsuccessful and ran off in the direction of the market.

Any witnesses should contact 101, log number 971 of October 16.