Off-duty police officer spots fugitive while celebrating wedding anniversary

An off-duty police officer had a wedding anniversary to remember after spotting a suspect while out celebrating with his wife.
Community Support Officer (CSO) Mark Halliday, of Northumbria Police.Community Support Officer (CSO) Mark Halliday, of Northumbria Police.
Community Support Officer (CSO) Mark Halliday, of Northumbria Police.

Northumbria Police Community Support Officer Mark Halliday was out with his wife of 23 years in South Shields when he caught sight of a fugitive who had evaded for the force for months.

CSO Halliday was heading to The Grotto for a meal when he saw a man coming out of Kirkpatricks pub and phoned in his suspicions to Millbank Police Station.

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He guided his colleagues towards the suspect’s location, and the 41-year-old man was arrested as he had a pint in the Ship and Royal.

Chief Inspector Phil Baker praised the CSO for his professionalism and was delighted to bring a wanted fugitive into custody.

He said: “CSO Halliday should be really proud of his actions.

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“He and his wife were out in the town preparing to mark their wedding anniversary and it would have been easy for him to dismiss what he had seen.

“But by picking up the phone and getting in touch with his colleagues on shift, he allowed us to bring in a suspect wanted in connection with drug possession who had kept off our radar and had evaded officers for some time.

“It fills me with pride knowing we have dedicated and professional CSOs such as Mark working with us, and I’d like to extend my thanks to him for proving our officers are always on duty – even on a special night for him personally.”

CSO Halliday, who has been with the force for almost 12 years, said: “I just did what anybody would have done, really.

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“The wife and I certainly had a chuckle about it – and we had a lovely night to mark our anniversary.

“I’m pleased that it helped officers get hold of a wanted fugitive, who has since appeared before the courts and been dealt with for his crime.”

The suspect appeared before magistrates in South Tyneside on Monday, August 17, and was convicted of possessing a Class A drug after officers found him with a quantity of heroin in South Shields on October 18, 2018.

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