Operation Dasher patrols in Swindon lead to prolific offender being jailed
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A prolific offender has been jailed for 46 weeks following high visibility patrols by neighbourhood officers.
Mark Thirkettle, 49, of Swindon Road, Stratton St Margaret, was sentenced to 46 weeks in prison at Swindon Magistrates Court yesterday (15/12).
Officers from the South Central Neighbourhood Policing team were conducting high visibility patrols as part of Operation Dasher on December 14. Thirkettle was spotted by an eagle-eyed retail manager in Swindon town centre who alerted officers to his location. He made off from officers but was eventually detained after a short foot chase and was arrested for a number of thefts as well as a non-dwelling burglary that he was outstanding for.
Later that day, he was charged with six thefts, one non-dwelling burglary and criminal damage and was remanded in custody to appear at Swindon Magistrates Court the following morning where he was sentenced.
PC Grant Hesketh said: “Operation Dasher continues to run in Swindon town centre and retail outlets across Swindon during the festive period. Officers have been conducting high visibility patrols and engaging with members of the public at retail premises and the operation so far has been extremely effective. I am pleased that Thirkettle, who is a prolific offender, has been given a prison sentence by magistrates.
“Throughout the operation so far, officers have effectively used a number of section 35 dispersal orders in the town centre to reduce anti-social behaviour, nuisance begging and deterred thefts and I hope this has led to an enjoyable and safe shopping and leisure experience for people visiting the town.
“Operation Dasher will be running up until Christmas Eve. In addition to the high visibility patrols, local officers will be at the Policing Pop Up Shop at The Hub in The Parade on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday between 10am to 3pm offering crime prevention advice.”
As a result of the patrols during Operation Dasher, several people have been charged and convicted.
- Gemma Williams, 32, of Swindon Road, Stratton St Margaret, was charged with handling stolen goods in relation to a theft that occurred at Pandora Regent Street in Swindon on December 4.
- Sophie Quinn, 30, of Victoria Road, was also sentenced at Swindon Magistrates Court on December 10, having been convicted of five thefts from Wilko’s in the town centre, and received a community order.
- Daniel Smith, 40, of no fixed abode Swindon was arrested in Swindon Town Centre on December 1 and charged with the theft of a pedal cycle to the value of £2,180. He has yet to appear in court.