A HOSPITAL worker has told of her terror as she was grabbed by two men in York claiming to be police officers while on her way home from work.
Shelley Schofield, 28, works as a lab technician at York Hospital and was walking to the train station at about 4.45pm on Monday when she was stopped by the two men.
She said: "I had my headphones in so I wasn't really acknowledging there was anyone there, they just appeared in front of me. I thought they were asking for directions so took my headphones out. They said they had to do a citizen's arrest. I laughed and tried to walk away and they blocked my way.
"They said 'we have to take you to the police station'. They grabbed me, one on each arm, it was quite hard. They grabbed me and pulled me backwards, I thought where the hell are we going, are they going to put me in a car and drive off, and I thought that was going to be the last of me.
"When I was struggling a lady passing by started shouting at them for them to let me go and it was only then one of them released his grip."
Shelley ran from the scene to York Station, where she found a police officer and explained what had happened.
She said: "It didn't seem like a prank. It was very serious. They didn't laugh once at all. I was horrified.
"The shock only hit me when I ran to the station and tried to explain it to the police officer I just burst into tears and I just felt like I had a lucky escape."
Shelley's experience was the second account of such an incident that day that had been reported to North Yorkshire Police, with a 65-year-old man approached by two men of the same description and being told they were carrying out a citizen's arrest in Marygate car park.
A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said nobody had yet been arrested in connection with the incidents, but said police were making extra high-visibility patrols in the area to reassure the public.
Police Sergeant Michael Brocken said: “I would like to reassure the public that we treat incidents of people posing as police officers extremely seriously.
“A genuine plain clothes officer will always identify themselves by presenting their warrant cards. If you are still concerned about the officer’s identity, please contact the Force Control Room.”
Anyone with information should phone 101, email firstname.lastname@example.org