An operation to target crime in Swindon town centre over the festive period is proving a huge success say Wiltshire Police
Operation Dasher is a high visibility policing operation, with dedicated officers, PCSOs and Special Constables on foot patrol every day in the town centre and Old Town until Christmas Eve.
The operation, which is supported by inSwindon Bid’s Street Team, Swindon Borough Council CCTV operators and store security staff, also involves a police mobile unit and officers in plain clothes deployed on covert patrols.
A number of people have been charged this week:
Gerard Mir, aged 42, of no fixed abode, has been charged with criminal damage to the door of Greggs in Havelock Square and theft of wine from the Shell garage in Marlborough Road. He appeared in court on 13 December and pleaded guilty. He was ordered to pay compensation of £306.49
He has also been charged with criminal damage to the Christmas lights installation in The Parade and is due in court on 2 January.
As well as this, he has been charged with being drunk and disorderly in a public place in Regent Circus, and criminal damage to a police cell and is due at Swindon Magistrates Court on 9 January.
Robert Steele, aged 21, of no fixed abode, has been charged with two counts of theft from Wilko’s and is due in Swindon Magistrates Court on 9 January.
Angielina Anghel, aged 42, of Mitcham Surrey, was arrested and given an eight week prison sentence suspended for 12 months after pleading guilty to fraud by false representation at North Essex Magistrates Court. It follows her arrest at TK Maxx in Great Western Way on 15 December, after she retained money by sleight of hand, leaving the store at a loss of £300. A 16-year-old girl was also given a youth caution in relation to the incident.
PC Paul Bezzant said: “I hope these positive results reassure the public and local business community that by having a heavier police presence in the town centre at this busy time of year leading up to Christmas day, that we will target opportunistic criminals and anyone committing anti-social behaviour which can have a negative impact on communities.
“I want people to feel safe when out and about in their town – the festive period should be a time of happiness that everyone of all ages can enjoy and we hope our presence is making people feel reassured that we are taking a zero tolerance approach to those who commit crime in our town.”
If you are a victim of crime or want to report suspicious behaviour to police please call 999 or the non-emergency number on 101. Alternatively, if you wish to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.