Pitsea: Canvey woman who ignored shop banning order is jailed
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One of our Business Crime Team officers was on the spot to arrest a prolific shoplifter who breached her criminal behaviour order in Pitsea just two days after being released from jail.
Laura Mansfield, 39, of Craven Avenue, Canvey Island, had been jailed by Southend magistrates on 19 April for a total of 36 weeks. She had admitted eight counts of shoplifting between 31 October 2022 and 24 January 2023, a burglary and failure to surrender to court bail.
The court also issued her with a three-year criminal behaviour order (CBO) which prohibited her from entering the Boots and Aldi stores in Northlands Pavement, Pitsea; Farm Foods in Pitsea Retail Park; and the BP garage in Eastmayne, Basildon.
On 5 July, two days after her release from prison, Mansfield entered two of the stores, Southend Magistrates’ Court heard on 6 July.
PC Alex Plakhtienko, from our Business Crime Team, had been in Pitsea town centre talking to businesses about their Townlink radio communication system when he heard a call for assistance on it.
Helped by regular updates from shopkeepers using Townlink, he tracked Mansfield to The Range in Northlands Pavement and, identifying her as subject to a criminal behaviour order, promptly arrested her.
In court, Mansfield admitted entering the Farm Foods store while prohibited from doing so and attempting to steal a bottle of mouthwash from Boots in Northlands Pavement. She was jailed for a further eight weeks.
Noting the offences were committed just two days after her release from prison, magistrates remarked on her ‘flagrant disregard for court orders’ which was aggravated by her previous history of offending. Mansfield was also ordered to pay a £154 victim surcharge.
Mansfield’s CBO is to continue and runs until 19 April 2026.
Prior to Mansfield’s sentencing in April, our Business Crime Team and officers from the Basildon Community Policing Team worked with the Crown Prosecution Service to obtain the criminal behaviour order. CBOs are designed to tackle the most serious and persistent anti-social individuals where their behaviour has brought them before a criminal court.
PC Plakhtienko said after the case that Mansfield had persisted in her behaviour despite being given a chance to mend her ways.
“We have a duty to protect all victims of crime from repeat offenders. And one way we can do this is by applying to the courts for criminal behaviour orders which are intended to prevent their re-offending and future impact on retail staff. “Breaching them can result in a prison sentence, as Mansfield discovered when she appeared before the magistrates. “Shoplifting is not a victimless crime. Offenders’ behaviour can affect staff and customers in the shops they target and we in the Business Crime Team work with retailers and staff to prevent this. “Through our Open For Business, Closed For Crime campaign, we encourage staff to report incidents of abuse and violence so we can take action and put offenders before the courts.”
Criminal behaviour orders
We will not tolerate prolific and violent offenders who cause harm to businesses and their employees. Our Business Crime Team will apply to implement a criminal behaviour order against those who continue to commit crime against local businesses.
A criminal behaviour order, or CBO, is a set of conditions placed on an individual by a court, which will prevent the person from causing further harm against the business. The conditions could include banning the individual from entering a particular shop or area, such as a town centre, for a defined amount of time. If the person breaches the order, it could result in a prison sentence.
This has proved to be a successful way of reducing offences such as theft or abuse towards staff.
CBOs also tackle the underlying causes of offending and, where appropriate, require offenders to engage in treatment services, such as drug and alcohol addiction support.
It is an offence to breach the terms of a CBO and courts can jail terms or a fine, or both, for an adult convicted of breaching them.
Essex Police Business Crime Team
Our Business Crime Team specialises in supporting businesses, working to build relationships with independent shops and retail chains, explaining how they can report crime to us and, just as importantly, what will happen when they do.
They help to identify risks in the workplace, providing crime prevention, fraud and cyber-crime advice and strengthening links with businesses and partners, including local community safety partnerships, Essex Chambers of Commerce and the Essex Federation of Small Businesses.
Working with the National Business Crime Centre, the team share nationally-identified crime trends and best practice with our business community. And they have also developed a comprehensive guide to business crime prevention which identifies steps business-owners can take to protect themselves and their properties.