A man who was caught in the acting trying to steal from a car in a Peterborough city centre car park has been ordered to carry out unpaid work.

Neighbourhood officers were on foot patrol in the city centre on the morning of 17 March when they entered the Bull Hotel’s car park in Fitzwilliam Street and saw Ian Chowles, 44, leaning into the driver’s window of a car.

The officers shouted to Chowles to stay where he was, and as they approached, they saw the window was smashed.

He was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and attempted theft from a vehicle, but claimed the window was already smashed and he was just taking a look inside.

Chowles, of Elizabeth Court, Peterborough City Centre, appeared at Huntingdon Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (14 May) where he was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work within the next year after pleading guilty to attempted theft from a vehicle.

PC James Cullimore, who made the arrest and is the dedicated City Centre PC as part of the Business Improvement District (BID), said: “Being on foot patrol gives us a greater opportunity to see what’s happening around the city centre, and in this instance, we just happened to be in the right place at the right time and managed to intervene before Chowles could steal anything.”

Advice on how to best protect your vehicle from thieves can be found on the force's dedicated vehicle safety webpages.