A prolific shoplifter has been banned from Mansfield town centre, as police continue to crack down on repeat offenders.
William Gamble, aged 36, was jailed for 12 weeks after pleading guilty to two shop thefts in Nottingham and Mansfield on 15 and 13 December.
Gamble, who has a long history of theft offences, was also made the subject of a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO), which bans him from entering most areas of Mansfield town centre for three years as well as not entering any store with an empty bag.
The order also prohibits him from entering specific stores in the town’s retail parks and compels him to engage with drug rehabilitation workers.
Breaching the order is a criminal offence and may result in Gamble, of no fixed address, being returned to prison.
The sentence, handed down by Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on 16 December, comes as local officers continue an anti-shoplifting campaign in Mansfield town centre.
The neighbourhood team now keeps a rolling cohort of the five most prolific shop thieves in the town and works intensively to curtail their actions.
As well as arresting suspects and seeing them prosecuted, officers are also using CBOs to restrict offenders’ activities and – in some cases – to ban them from the town centre completely.
The orders must contain compelling evidence of prolonged offending and are granted by a court.
Sergeant Alice Bartle, leader of the Mansfield town centre police team, said: “This kind of repeat shoplifting is a blight on our town and simply won’t be tolerated by Nottinghamshire Police.
“Some people may believe that this kind of shop theft is not serious, but the reality is that it harms everyone living and working in our town.
“If people like Gamble are regularly stealing to fund addictions, we need to intervene – for their own good as well as the good of the businesses they target.
“We are working hard to make Mansfield the best possible place to live and work and this ongoing campaign against shoplifters is a huge part of that.”
Inspector Kylie Davies, district commander for Mansfield, said: “We know that a disproportionate number of shop thefts in the town centre come from a relatively small group of people.
“By relentlessly targeting that same group of people we are already seeing some very promising results.
“Gamble is one of several individuals who are currently behind bars and, on release, will be subject to this criminal behaviour order. We have secured two orders since the start of our initiative and have several others awaiting court dates.”
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