One-man crimewave slapped with a Criminal Behaviour Order

A man who repeatedly stole from shops and cars in Hastings and Bexhill has been banned from the town centre and also from supermarkets.

On Wednesday (October 7th) Brighton Magistrates’ Court imposed a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) on Scott Starr, 41, of no fixed address, following his conviction for a theft from Marks and Spencer in Hastings in February this year.

The new two-year court order means he faces a further sentence of up to five years if he breaches its conditions.

Scott Starr

The application for the order came from Hastings and Rother Neighbourhood Policing Team officers, who, alongside the Hastings Business Crime Reduction Partnership (BCRP), worked to gather evidence of Starr’s repeated offending.

Sergeant Brett White said: “Shoplifting costs retailers many millions of pounds every year, and it is repeat offenders such as Scott Starr who have the most impact. We hope this latest court decision sends out a clear and strong message that we are here to support the business community  to protect them and their staff from crime of this nature.”

John Bownas, manager of the BCRP, said: “Starr is one of several people in the town who has been responsible for countless thefts from local shops – as well as being known to steal from parked cars. He can rightly be described as a one-man crimewave and his often violent and threatening behaviour to shop staff who have tried to challenge him has made him notorious in the town.

“I’m delighted the police have been successful in their application for a CBO, and I hope this will deter him – and any others who want to avoid a similar ban – from further thefts in Hastings.”

The order is in place until October 2022, and bans Starr from the whole town centre, other than for pre-arranged drug and alcohol counselling sessions, as well as from the following specific Hastings and Bexhill stores where he is previously known to have committed offences:

  • Debenhams
  • Co-Op (St Leonards and Ore)
  • Superdrug
  • The Body Shop
  • Morrisons
  • Sainsbury’s
  • Marks & Spencer
  • Holland & Barrett
  • Edinburgh Woollen Mill

He is also not to enter any other supermarket in Hastings (Tesco, Sainsbury, ASDA, Co-Op, Aldi, Lidl) – with the exception of ASDA in Silverhill between 9am and 5pm.

In order to prevent him from stealing from cars or using threatening behaviour, the court also agreed to extend the order to prohibit touching or entering any vehicle without permission or acting in any anti-social way that would result in ‘harassment, alarm, or distress.’

The Hastings Shopwatch scheme is run by the BCRP and exists to help support shops and protect them from shop thefts by ensuring all its members have access to a secure database of known offenders. More information can be found here 

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