Innocent man ‘harassed’ and handcuffed in police blunder

Police parked outside the second bank in Station Parade this afternoon. Picture: Archant

Police parked outside the second bank in Station Parade this afternoon. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Police tore through Barking this afternoon and handcuffed the wrong person after an earlier bank robbery in which staff were threatened with a screwdriver.

At 12.51 this afternoon officers were called to the Natwest in High Road, Chadwell Heath following an armed robbery.

A man armed with a screwdriver had entered the branch and threatened a member of staff before making off with an unknown quantity of cash.

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman confirmed no staff were injured in the incident, adding: "No arrests [have been made] at this stage while enquiries continue."

Then at 1.14pm officers were called to Lloyds Bank in Station Parade, Barking, where a member of staff had concerns about a transaction being attempted by a female customer.

Three police cars pulled up at the station. On arrival, officers detained a 28-year-old man stood at the cashpoint outside.

The spokeswoman said: "Officers detained a male outside who appeared to match the description of a suspect in a robbery earlier that afternoon in Chadwell Heath.

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"The male was detained and then released when it was established he had no connection with the incident in Chadwell Heath."

No further action was deemed necessary regarding the call from Lloyds Bank and staff were referred to Action Fraud.

When the Post arrived in Station Parade this afternoon one police car was still parked outside, as was the man police had mistakenly detained, who said he was visiting with a friend from Essex.

He told the Post: "I was just on the phone waiting for my friend at the bank and police came and harassed me. They said there had been an allegation of armed robbery."

The man, who asked not to be named, said he had been handcuffed in the street for around five minutes before officers released him and apologised.

He added: "It's the first time this has happened to me. It's the embarrassment.

"They just jumped out and cuffed me straight away. They didn't even ask who I was."

Anyone with information about the incident in Chadwell Heath is asked to call police citing the reference CAD 38516/27JUN19.