Work by Ashford town beat officers has led to a persistent offender of anti-social behaviour being banned from a shopping centre.

On Wednesday 23 November 2022, a boy who had previously been told by staff to leave the County Square Shopping Centre, entered the premises. He was removed from the centre by staff, however persisted in trying to return.

As a member of the security staff went to close the door and asked him to move away, the teenager pushed and hit him in the face, making threats of violence.

The same teenager was part of a group of boys who were found to be causing anti-social behaviour at the shopping centre during the afternoon of Thursday 23 February 2023.

The centre’s security team arrived and were attempting to close and secure the doors of the centre which were being held open by the group. During the incident the teenager approached the security staff and was abusive before pushing and punching one in the face.

CCTV footage of the two assaults were reviewed by Ashford Community Safety Unit and the 15-year-old boy from Ashford, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was identified through enquiries with witnesses to the incidents. Town centre officers also recognised him as someone they had seen during their regular patrols of the area.

Guilty plea

At Medway Youth Court on 22 June, he pleaded guilty to two counts of common assault and was given a six-month restraining order which prevents him from entering the shopping centre, or speaking to the staff. He was also ordered to pay £60 compensation to his victim.

Sergeant Richard Batten of the Ashford Community Safety Unit said: ‘The good work of our local beat officers resulted in the offender being identified and a positive outcome in court.

‘I would advise anyone who is considering similar anti-social behaviour in Ashford town centre, to think twice. People should feel safe whether they work, live or visit here. Kent Police does not tolerate nuisance behaviour and this summer our town beat officers will continue to provide visible patrols. We urge anyone experiencing anti-social behaviour to report it.’

Search for #SaferSummer and #ASBAwarenessWeek on Twitter for updates on activity happening across the county.

By Ed

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