A PROLIFIC shoplifter who stole from shops across Southend and its surrounding area "every other day" has been jailed and banned from stores.

Simon Price, 38, of Dapple Close in Rochford, was arrested following an incident in London Road, Westcliff, last Wednesday.

He was quickly charged by officers with 16 counts of shoplifting, two counts of assault by beating, and one count of possession of an offensive weapon, harassment, and a public order offence.

Price was found guilty of the shoplifting, possessing an offensive weapon and the assaults by beating at Southend Magistrates' Court on Friday.

He has now been jailed for 50 weeks and given a two-year criminal behaviour order.

This prevents him from entering any Tesco, BP garage and Co-op in Southend, as well as the Morrisons store in London Road, Hadleigh and the One-Stop in Sutton Road, Southend.

Following the conviction, Sergeant Stephen Wells said: “This sentence was made possible thanks to our Operation Raker – we have dedicated officers targeting prolific offenders in our community and bringing them to justice.”

“Price’s was prolific; his shoplifting all took place across the last month. He was stealing from shops across Southend and the surrounding area every other day.

“He now has the time to consider his behaviour in prison before he is released, and must follow the rules set out in his CBO or face returning to jail.

“We are making it as clear as possible – you cannot assault shop workers, you cannot shoplift and you cannot carry a weapon in Essex and get away with it. 

“We don’t tolerate persistent anti-social behaviour and want Southend to be a safe place to live, work and visit.”