A 52-year-old man has been charged with attempted robbery and possession of an imitation firearm following an incident in Scarborough.

The man, who lives locally, walked into Tesco in the Westwood area at about 5.15pm on Thursday and allegedly pointed the imitation pistol at the back of a cashier.

He then ran off, but was arrested by an off-duty police officer who tackled him to the ground.

An imitation pistol was recovered at the scene.

The cashier was badly shaken, but was allowed to go home.

Superintendent Glyn Payne, of North yorkshire Police, said: “This was a very worrying incident that was brought to a quick and safe conclusion thanks to the brave actions of the off-duty police officer.

“Her actions were in the best traditions of the British police service and shows once again the determination and courage of our officers whether on duty or off duty.

“Although the cashier was left very shaken, thankfully nobody was harmed.

“Police patrols were deployed in the area to support the investigation and to provide reassurance for shoppers and the local community following the incident.” Witnesses or anyone with information that could assist the investigation should phone North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2, and ask for Phil Nockels.

• A 52-year-old man is due to appear at Scarborough Magistrates’Court on Monday.