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Hastings Police Clamp Down on Shoplifting: Multiple Arrests Made

Hastings Man Pleads Guilty to Theft and Assault in Local Business Crime Crackdown

In a decisive move against business-related offenses, a Hastings resident has been found guilty of both theft and assault, marking a significant success for the local police’s Operation Castle. This initiative, launched to combat theft, shoplifting, and anti-social behavior, involves foot patrols, targeted enforcement, and collaborative efforts with the community.

The incident, which unfolded at the Marks and Spencer store within Priory Meadow Shopping Centre on 27 January, involved the man attempting theft and subsequently assaulting an individual, resulting in injuries that required hospital attention.

Ryan Etherton, hailing from Godwin Road in Hastings, was quickly identified through the DISC system, an innovative online platform designed to enhance communication between businesses and Police. Sharing critical data, such as CCTV footage, the app aids in the quick identification of repeat offenders. Arrested on 31 January, the 47-year-old has admitted to the charges of assault causing actual bodily harm (ABH) and theft, with sentencing scheduled for 20 March at Hastings Magistrates’ Court.

Further illustrating the operation’s effectiveness, plain-clothes officers observed potential theft activities at Gregg’s Bakery and Holland & Barrett on Queens Road on 5 February. These observations led to the arrests of Kay Pawson and Aron Croft for theft-related charges, with Croft also facing allegations of breaching bail conditions. Pawson, currently without a permanent residence, and Croft, from Western Road, St Leonards, are awaiting their court dates.

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