A man has been jailed following an investigation by officers in Harlow into dummies taken from children.
An investigation was launched following a series of reports of a man approaching people with babies and removing their dummies.
Four incidents were reported to Essex Police between 10 February and 7 August in the Staple Tye Shopping Centre, Woodcroft, Parsloe Road and Cooks Spinney areas.
On one occasion a child was also assaulted.
In a number of the incidents, the dummy was taken directly out of the child’s mouth.
As part of the investigation we released an image of a man officers wanted to speak to in connection with the incidents.
He was soon identified as 23 year-old Josh Guilder, of no fixed address.
Guilder was arrested on 15 August and charged with five counts of theft, three counts of common assault, and a public order offence.
He was convicted of all the offences at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on 20 November and, at the same court, on Fridy 2 February sentenced to a total of a year and two months in prison.
"We are committed to ensuring you feel safe"
District Commander for Harlow, Chief Inspector Paul Austin, said:
“I know these incidents caused concern in our community and I’m pleased we’ve been able to identify the person responsible and hold him accountable.
“It can never be acceptable that people in Harlow feel concerned about going about their daily lives or with their children and my officers have worked hard to get this result.
“I want to thank the community for their support in our investigation. We are committed to keeping you safe and ensuring you feel safe.
“In the last year crime across the Harlow district has fallen with more than 630 fewer offences reported. Violent crime, sexual offences and home burglaries have all seen reductions.
“Your support is crucial in helping us bring crime down.”
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