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Public nuisance banned from Whitehaven town centre

Mark Clark

A persistent public nuisance has been banned from Whitehaven town centre – after police worked with prosecutors and businesses to gather evidence for a legal order.

Mark Clark, 48, faces arrest and possible imprisonment if he goes within a set boundary imposed by a court aimed at improving the quality of life for residents and workers.

Clark, of George Street, Whitehaven, was made the subject of a two year Criminal Behaviour Order at Workington’s magistrates’ court.

He is not to enter a large section of the centre of Whitehaven except for appointments at a clinic or to visit a late night pharmacy.

If he does not comply with this he could face arrest and imprisonment.

Police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) acted following concerns over his persistent anti-social behaviour.

Problems included him swearing, acting aggressively and being out in public while heavily intoxicated.

PC Kelly Pennington, a problem solving officer for the Copeland neighbourhood policing team, led the application for the police.

She said: “The town centre shops, residents and members of the public have made complaints, saying his behaviour has been affecting the quality of their lives and their businesses.

“People have said they won’t walk past St Nicholas Gardens or the bus stop on Lowther Street.

“We have taken statements from businesses affected, from the Shopwatch scheme and from members of the public.

“Working with the Crown Prosecution Service, we’ve been able to get this injunction.

“If other people cause problems in the town centre we will also look at such orders, if appropriate.”

PC Pennington added: “Criminal behaviour orders are a useful tool available to the courts, which can help stop problems and protect local businesses.

“I would encourage anyone who witnesses the terms of such a court order being broken to contact the police immediately.”

Pamela Fee, for the CPS, said: “Mark Clark’s persistent anti-social behaviour included using offensive language, acting aggressively or fighting while being heavily intoxicated.

“Though some of his behaviour fell short of committing criminal offences, it was having a significant affect upon local businesses as well as residents and visitors in Whitehaven town centre.

“We therefore worked closely with Cumbria Police to decide on the most suitable conditions for a Criminal Behavioural Order application.

“This included specifically tailoring the exclusion map to the area where Clark’s anti-social behaviour was having the biggest impact on the community.

“We also requested further statements from local businesses and the Shopwatch organisers to strengthen the application, which we presented before the court.

“I would encourage members of the public to report anti-social incidents to the police so that consideration can be given to applying for Criminal Behaviour Orders to prevent anti-social behaviour from ruining the area in which they visit, work or live.”

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