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VIDEO: Off-duty police officer describes moment he tackled knife-carrying shoplifter in Arnold town centre

PC Rishi Thobhani said he didn’t think twice about what harm he would come to.


A police officer has described the moment he jumped into action and chased down a knife-carrying shoplifter in Arnold town centre.

PC Rishi Thobhani was off duty on Thursday 30 May and was walking through the High Street when he noticed Poundland staff chasing after a man.

The man in question was Michael Delaney, aged 32, a prolific shoplifter known for intimidating staff and using threats of violence.

He had just stolen a number of items from the store.

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PC Thobhani identified himself as a police officer and instructed him to stop. When Delaney refused, a foot chase ensued.

The shoplifter was in possession of a kitchen knife

Delaney then produced a large kitchen knife and threatened to stab the officer if he continued to follow him.

PC Thobhani said the incident took place in the middle of the day with members of the public present and he refused to let Delaney get away.

As he attempted to detain him, Delaney threatened to stab the officer, with the tip of the blade only a few centimetres from his face.

Luckily, he managed to pull the knife away and ensure he was detained before further officers arrived on the scene to take him into custody.

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Describing the ordeal, PC Thobhani, who joined the force back in September 2022, said: “My role at that moment was to make sure no harm comes to anyone. I didn’t think twice about what harm I would come to.

“I trusted my instincts and skills to apprehend Delaney.

“There’s always going to be that fear that I’m going to get assaulted whilst I’m at work but if I continued to live with that fear for the rest of my life, I would not be able to do my job properly.

“I’ve not joined the job for money or medals. I know why I’m in the police and it is exactly why I did what I did on the day.

“Even if I wasn’t a police officer, I’d have done the same thing. I joined the police to protect the community.

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“I knew that if Delaney didn’t hurt me, I strongly believed he was going to hurt someone else.

“Had I arrived a few moments later or did not see the chase, I have full faith Delaney could have harmed one of the Poundland staff chasing him.”

Delaney, aged 35, of no fixed address, was arrested and charged. He pleaded guilty to a number of shop thefts, possession of a bladed article and threatening a person with a bladed article.

He is due to be sentenced later this year.

Nottinghamshire Police has joined other forces across the country to celebrate Response Policing Week of Action, which started on Monday (24), and is an opportunity to highlight the difficult, demanding, and unpredictable work that response officers and staff do to keep people safe.

Chief Inspector Paul Hennessy said: “What PC Thobhani did that day was remarkably brave. He went above and beyond to ensure a dangerous offender was taken off our streets.

“Response officers put themselves in harms’ way every day to protect the public and ensure the streets of our city and county are safe.

“It is why they do what they do and this example is a fitting testament to their outstanding work in our communities.”

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  1. gbc have cctv installed at great cost to all the taxpayers yet these actions are still happeing regulary not just in the precinct but the whole borough of gedling.these partnerships with other bodies not working out so all this must cease at once as never is working.

  2. How brave is this man to take on that absolute thug. We absolutely salute you PC Thobhani. The man deserves a medal. I hope he is recognised by our city leaders in the near future. God bless him!

  3. Fighting for arnold that is what he has done to protect our town and should be given an award as pride of arnold well done for protecting our people


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