A shop lifter who has plagued Mansfield town centre for more than 10 years has been given an antisocial behaviour order.
Since 1996 Christopher Bickerton (32) of Tideswell Court, Mansfield, has posed a problem for shop workers in the centre due to his aggressive behaviour and his persistent thieving.
Now, following joint action by Mansfield District Council’s ASB and Legal Services teams, and Nottinghamshire Police’s Safer Neighbourhood Team for Mansfield, he must comply with the terms of a two-year ASBO issued at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on Monday 16th December.
His most recent offences include stealing chocolate from a shop on 10th August this year just two days after his release from prison.
Bickerton is already the subject of a civil order banning him from several shops in the town and it is hoped the ASBO will put a further stop to his unlawful behaviour.
The conditions of the ASBO state that Bickerton should:
• Not to enter the retail premises on Westgate and Stockwell Gate, Mansfield, and not to enter the retail premises in The Four Seasons Shopping Centre and St Peter’s and Portland Retail Parks, Mansfield.
• Not to contact directly or indirectly named staff in various stores in Mansfield.
Police Sergeant Colin Kirkup said: “Bickerton’s ASBO is the latest success story for Operation Pegger – our campaign to make Mansfield safer.
“Since November we have been targeting the rise in shoplifting and theft that we see around this time of year. This comprises of patrols to target thieves and crime prevention advice to shoppers and revellers.
“Bickerton has regularly been involved in aggressive, disruptive, behaviour in Mansfield Town Centre and has been convicted of shop lifting numerous times.
“It is clear he holds little regard for the law and does not seem able to control his behaviour in a civilised way. This order should send a clear message that the authorities will no longer stand by and allow him to behave in such a manner.”
If Bickerton breaches the order he will face a fine or prison sentence of up to five years.