A HOMELESS man accused of anti social behaviour including drug use, aggressive street begging, drinking and theft has been banned from parts of Taunton town centre and several shops.

A criminal behaviour order was issued against Thomas Crosbie, 41, at Taunton Magistrates' Court on October 31 and remains in force for two years.

It bans Crosbie from certain parts of the town centre.

The order was sought after he was convicted of theft, assault and fraud by false representation at a hearing at the court the previous day.

Complaints were made to the police about his behaviour in Taunton town centre, including drug use, aggressive street begging, drinking, theft and anti-social behaviour.

Under the terms of the CBO, he is not allowed to enter Superdrug, TK Maxx, Sainsbury’s or Debenhams in the town centre.

He is also prohibited from entering an area of Taunton town centre between 8.30am and 6pm, including East Street; North Street; High Street; Whirligig Lane; Market Street; Corporation Street; Magdalene Street; Cannon Street; Duke Street; Castle Street; Middle Street; St James Street and Paul Street.

Failure to comply with the CBO will result in a criminal offence being committed, which could result in Crosbie being sent to prison.

Taunton town centre Police Community Support Officer Sam Bushen said: "Local neighbourhood policing teams received a large number of complaints about Thomas Crosbie and his aggressive and anti-social behaviour in the town centre.

"The granting of the CBO is great news for businesses and people wishing to enjoy the town centre.

"It will give store staff some relief from his continual disruptive presence and offending.

"Hopefully the restrictive conditions of the CBO will send a strong message to others who may seek to commit similar offences."

Somerset Anti-Social Behaviour co-ordinator Cerwyn Pritchard said: “Thomas Crosbie has been a persistent problem in Taunton town centre, despite being warned several times by police officers over his behaviour.

"He was often responsible for alcohol or drug related anti-social behaviour. His street drinking and drug use had resulted in unreasonable behaviour, which affected the quality of life of others, resulting in repeated complaints.

"We rely on the community to give us information in confidence and I encourage anyone with any concerns about crime or anti-social behaviour within their community to contact the police.

"The more evidence that can be gathered in these and similar situations, the stronger the case we can present at court.

"I would like to thank all of business and members of the public who have supported us and I hope this outcome shows we will take concerns seriously and act, where the law allows. We’re determined to do all we can, working with partners and the community, to deal with those issues that cause such a blight on people’s lives."