Footage, captured by a student, showing a woman pinned down by a security guard and three members of staff at an Iceland store has gone viral.
The woman was suspected of stealing food from the store in Prospect Shopping Centre in Hull, East Yorkshire, when staff intervened.
Now the University of Hull student, who uploaded the clip to Facebook, says he believes the staff and security guard were too extreme in their reaction on Thursday. He said: "I could see there was blood on the ground from where she fell over.
Lee Appleton, Centre Manager at Prospect Shopping Centre, said: “Our team pride themselves on maintaining a safe environment for all of our shoppers at all times. 95 per cent of their role is Customer Services-focused, only around five per cent of their role incorporates security.
"However, the severity of this particular incident with a shoplifter meant that our team member had no choice but to act in self-defence after she was continually assaulted by the individual in question.
"This approach was an absolute last resort and was taken before the shoplifter also became a danger to members of the public. Subsequently upon arrest, the shoplifter also went on to assault the police officer as well."