A Stevenage shoplifter who assaulted a police officer has been given a five-year Criminal Behaviour Order which forbids him from entering any shop owned, run or managed by the Co-Op.

George Bull, of no fixed address, was given the order after he appeared at Stevenage Magistrates' Court earlier this month to answer separate charges relating to an assault on a police officer.

The 31-year-old was arrested at 10.40pm on Monday, April 1 after he threatened police and tried to strike an officer when they were attending an incident at The Hyde shops in Stevenage.

Bull pleaded guilty to the offence and was given a five-week custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay costs.

At the same hearing he was also given a five-year Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) relating to his previous behaviour, where shop staff have felt threatened, harassed or intimidated by his actions.

The CBO has the following conditions:

  • Not to breach any banning notice served upon him by any retailer.
  • Not to remain in any premises or location when asked to leave by police, emergency service workers, Stevenage Borough Council employees, the business owner, tenant or employee of the premises.
  • Not to enter for any reason any shop owned, run or managed by the Co-Op.

Issuing the CBO is part of the ongoing work by the Stevenage Neighbourhood Policing Team and Community Safety Unit to help reduce shoplifting in the town.

Neighbourhood Inspector Nick Redfearn said: "This order is just one of a number of measures that my teams are implementing in the town to deal robustly with problem individuals and reduce thefts from stores.

"Shoplifting has an impact not just financially on businesses, but also on those people who work in the shops and who are often threatened or assaulted by offenders if they challenge or try to apprehend them.

"We will always prosecute where possible and we have recently seen a number of offenders get custodial sentences for shoplifting in the town."