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Prolific shoplifter jailed after stealing from Gatwick Airport store

A prolific shoplifter has been jailed for beaching his Criminal Behaviour Order at Gatwick Airport.

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About 2.50am on Friday 12 November, police received a report of a theft at Marks and Spencer, in the North Terminal.

A man had entered the store, which was closed to customers, through a small gap in the shutters. The gap was being used by staff and maintenance workers to carry out refurbishments.

They challenged the man and asked him to leave. As he did so, he grabbed two bottles of rum worth £16.99 each and ran from the store.

He was chased and detained, and identified as Darren Pullen, 52, unemployed, of no fixed address.

The two bottles he stole were recovered, one of which had already been opened and partially consumed.

Enquiries revealed Pullen was subject to a three-year Criminal Behaviour Order imposed by Horsham Magistrates’ Court 24 July due to a history of similar offences.

This prohibits him from entering any premises displaying a Crawley or Gatwick Shopwatch sticker, and entering Gatwick Airport unless as a passenger with proof of a valid ticket.

He was subsequently arrested and charged with burglary and breach of a Criminal Behaviour Order, and remanded in custody to appear before Crawley Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 12 November.

He pleaded guilty to both offences and was sentenced to a total of 12 weeks’ imprisonment, and ordered to pay £16.99 compensation.

PC Jonny Walker, of the Gatwick Prevention Team, said:

“Pullen has been a thorn in the side of the retail community at Gatwick Airport for several months, and we built a case for the Crown Prosecution Service to consider a Criminal Behaviour Order due to his numerous offences of shoplifting and antisocial behaviour.

“Unfortunately, he has shown a blatant disregard for the order, which is why he now faces a number of weeks in prison.

“We hope this sentence serves as a reminder that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated at Gatwick Airport – or anywhere else in Sussex for that matter.

“This is a great example of partnership working between Sussex Police, Gatwick Airport and its retailers, who played a key role in reporting offences to bring this case to court.

“We work closely together to prevent and detect crime, and to take action against anyone caught committing offences.”

Education

Two hundred local pupils attend Eco summit at Crawley school

The Gatwick sponsored ‘Eco, Young, and Engaged’ (EYE) conference saw eight local schools and 200 pupils from Crawley and Horsham attend Ifield Community College on Monday to get a practical understanding of the environment and the importance of sustainability.

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Aged between six and seventeen, pupils chose between 13 workshops where they could learn about making their own compost and the wildlife within it, and about the effect that different clothing materials have on the environment and therefore which ones are more sustainable to buy and wear.

Other workshops included practical team challenges on how to upcycle (reuse) everyday items – such as using old milk bottles as planters for herbs – and how to harness the power of both wind turbines and solar panels to generate electricity.

The conference is part of the wider EYE campaign which seeks to bring schools in West Sussex together to focus on the importance of caring for our planet – to promote sustainability and encourage young people’s interest in environmental issues.

Gatwick’s Head of Sustainability, Rachel Thompson, gave an introductory talk on what sustainability is and its importance for protecting the environment.  She also discussed Gatwick’s ‘Decade of Change’ report, which tracks the airport’s progress on ten sustainability targets set over a ten year period (2010 to 2020), and explained how Gatwick’s buildings and fleet are carbon neutral.

The sponsorship of the conference is part of Gatwick’s wider community engagement programme which aims to make lasting and positive impacts to local communities and young people. Gatwick is also partnering with 15 local schools as part of the Primary Engineer programme to help schools teach STEM-based subjects in a more relatable and practical way to inspire more students to study the subjects.

Rachel Thompson, Head of Sustainability, Gatwick Airport said:

“It was great to see the enthusiasm of the students and hear their excellent questions and ideas. We hope today’s event will inspire more eco school projects and also encourage more students to consider studying STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects and pursuing careers in sustainability.”

Irram Ali, Ifield Community College Eco Lead, said:

“It was an honour to have been able to host the first Eco-Summit in Crawley. At Ifield Community College we are focused on encouraging our students to proactively engage with environmental issues and this was an excellent opportunity for such engagement to take place. All students were passionate and enthused and will hopefully implement some of their new knowledge in our local schools and community.”

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