Criminal Behaviour Orders granted against persistent Chester offenders Date published: 15th December 2016 3.59pm

Four offenders who caused misery for local residents and visitors to Chester City Centre have been handed Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBOs) thanks to partnership work between Chester ASB Unit, Chester Local Policing Unit and Cheshire West and Chester.

The orders have been granted over the past six weeks by Chester Magistrates’ Court against four separate offenders who have been causing persistent high levels of anti-social behaviour, begging and breaching of dispersal orders.

The four people the orders have been taken out against are:

Claire Gerrard, 31, was handed a CBO after she was convicted of breach of a dispersal notice, issued to her in relation to anti-social behaviour. She has been handed a five order with the following conditions

  • Causing harassment, nuisance or annoyance by seeking to beg from any person in any public place in Cheshire.
  • Cannot enter Chester City Centre (within the exclusion area set out by the court)
  • Not to use abusive, insulting, threatening or intimidating language or behaviour in any public place or towards any person in England and Wales

On Tuesday 8 November Alex McKerracher, 32, was handed a five year a CBO after he was convicted of begging and public order offences at Chester Crown Court of begging and public order. McKerracher also threatened officers making the application. The conditions of McKerracher order are:

  • Cause harassment, nuisance or annoyance by seeking to beg from any person in any public place in Cheshire.
  • Use foul, abusive, intimidating or threatening language or behaviour towards any person in any public place in the County of Cheshire.
  • Cannot enter Chester City Centre (within the exclusion area set out by the court)

On Monday 28 November 2016 Jamie Chard, 27, was convicted of a public order offence and resisting arrest following a violent incident in the city centre on 19/10/2016. He received a three year CBO, the conditions are:

  • Use or threaten any violence in any public place in England and Wales. 
  • Cannot enter Chester City Centre (within the exclusion area set out by the court)
  • Not to use abusive, insulting, threatening or intimidating language or behaviour in any public place or towards any person in England and Wales

On 15 December 2016 Matthew Lloyd was handed an indefinite CBO after multiple incidents involving threatening and abusive behaviour, the conditions are:

  • Cannot enter Chester City Centre (within the exclusion area set out by the court) 
  • Use or threaten any violence in any public place in England and Wales 
  • Not to use abusive, insulting, threatening or intimidating language or behaviour in any public place or towards any person in England and Wales 
  • Sleep, lie down or sit in doorways /recess of shops, retail premises, residential properties without the permission of the owner.

Sam Chapman, Cheshire West and Chester Community Safety Officer, said: “Criminal Behaviour Orders are issued preventative measures. The orders provide a valuable tool to the Chester Anti-Social Behaviour Unit team and the conditions within them are always designed to stop offences from being committed.

“In the case of these individuals, they have shown no consideration at all on the effect their behaviour has on people in Chester and this Order is completely necessary to protect the public.”

Sergeant Amanda Shaw of Chester Anti-Social Behaviour Unit said: “Anti-social behaviour, begging and violence will not be tolerated in Chester and robust action will be taken against anyone who breaks the law.

“In relation to these four individuals, the police and partner agencies have worked hard to support them but despite having multiple opportunities to change their behaviour, they all have failed to do so leaving us with no option but to apply for court orders.

“Applying for court orders is always the last resort, but the public of Chester should be allowed to go about their daily business without having to be witness to offensive behaviour from people who simply cannot behave in a reasonable manner.

“Two of these orders contain a condition around begging, which is a form of anti-social behaviour and is against the law. It has a detrimental impact on the city, with the police and local authority receiving numerous complaints from local businesses, residents and visitors.

“We know that in some cases, the proceeds from begging are used to support an alcohol and drug taking lifestyle which in turn causes further misery in our communities. It also makes it difficult for the individual to break the cycle of alcohol and drug abuse.

“There is provision for access to meals and support in the city from a variety of sources for people who have fallen on hard times.

“With this in mind, we would ask people not to give money to beggars and instead to donate to charities that exist to support individuals who find themselves in difficult circumstances.

Anyone who witnesses any breaches of the orders should report it to police on 101.