Cheltenham man slapped with Asbo banning him from 72 shops
PERSISTENT and aggressive shoplifter Raymond Grant has been slapped with an Asbo banning him from dozens of stores in Cheltenham town centre.
The 51-year-old, of no fixed abode, has been ordered not to enter 72 stores, including Waitrose, Tesco and all the Co-ops in the town, for the next three years.
It comes after he committed a string of shoplifting offences and was found guilty of using abusive, intimidating behaviour towards shop staff.
Traders welcomed the order.
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Josh Mills, assistant manager at Blacks outdoor equipment store, in the Promenade, said: “It’s good that an offender like this has been banned from a whole block of shops. Sometimes if people get caught shoplifting, they just go next door and try it again somewhere else. With this order he won’t be able to do that.”
The Asbo comes after Grant, who has struggled with alcohol addiction, was put behind bars seven times in 2011 for repeat shoplifting. He promised magistrates he would turn his life around but his behaviour is understood to have got increasingly erratic in recent months.
The order includes a clause banning him from setting foot in Henrietta Street, where he is believed to have attempted to sell on stolen goods.
Grant has been banned from all shops signed up to Day Safe, a crime reduction scheme run by borough council, police and the Chamber of Commerce.
Retailers had praise for the initiative yesterday.
Demelsa Coleman, marketing manager at The Brewery complex, from which Grant is also banned, said: “One of the great advantages of being part of Day Safe is that we can stick together on things like this.”
“It’s important to give shop staff protection from this kind of behaviour and certainly Mr Grant will not be welcome here for the duration of the Asbo.”
Helen White, manager at Lakeland kitchenwear store, in the Promenade, added: “We are very glad to be part of Day Safe and if we have any problems with things like shoplifting we go straight to them.”
Police applied for the Asbo following a spate of offences by Grant earlier this year. A court found that he had acted in an antisocial manner by entering shops shouting, demanding money, using abusive language and intimidating staff.
PC Suzy Armstrong said: “We strongly believe we should do everything within our power to support shop owners and staff in preventing shoplifting offences and to provide a safe environment for them to work, free from abusive language and intimidating behaviour.”
Colin Pilsworth, coordinator of Day Safe, added: “We cannot have shop staff, many of whom are young, being threatened in their own work place. Hopefully this sends out a strong message that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated.”
Among other places, Grant is banned from both the Regent Arcade and Beechwood Shopping Centre, as well as Boots, Marks & Spencer and Waterstones.
The shops Grant is prohibited from entering are:
• The Beechwood Centre
• Boots (High Street)
• Boots (Gallagher Retail Park)
• Cancer Research
• Cavendish House
• Claire’s Accessories
• Co-op (Bath Road)
• Co-op (Benhall Avenue)
• Co-op (Church Street, Charlton Kings)
• Co-op (Gloucester Road)
• Co-op (Hester’s Way Road)
• Co-op (Leckhampton Road)
• Co-op (London Road)
• Co-op (Montpellier Street)
• Co-op (Parton Road)
• Co-op (St Johns Avenue)
• Co-op (Salisbury Avenue)
• Co-op (The Green, Bishop’s Cleeve)
• Co-op (Windyridge Road)
• Disney Store
• Feva Designs
• French Connection
• Jacks Wills
• Karen Millen
• Marks & Spencer (High Street)
• Marks & Spencer Simply Food (Tewkesbury Rd)
• Marks & Spencer Home (Tewkesbury Rd)
• New Look
• Regent Arcade
• River Island
• Russell & Bromley
• Sainsburys Local (Bath Rd)
• Space NK
• Sports Direct
• Sue Ryder Care
• The Brewery Centre
• The Entertainer
• The White Company
• TK Maxx
• Tesco (Colletts Dr)
• Tesco Express (Hewlett Rd)
• Tesco Metro (High Street)
• Top Shop