A POLICE push to target crime in Swindon town centre over the festive period is proving a success.

Operation Dasher has already netted a clutch of shoplifters and more people were charged this week with crimes including criminal damage and fraud.

Gerard Mir, 42, of no fixed address, caused criminal damage to the door of Greggs in Havelock Square and theft of wine from the Shell garage in Marlborough Road.

He appeared in the dock at Swindon Magistrates’ Court where he was ordered to pay compensation of £306.

He has also been charged with criminal damage to the Christmas lights in The Parade and is due in court again January 2.

Mir is set to make a third appearance on January 9 on charges of being drunk and disorderly in a public place in Regent Circus, and criminal damage to a police cell.

Robert Steele, 21, of no fixed address, has been charged with two counts of theft from Wilko and is also due before the magistrates on January 9.

Angelina Anghel, 42, of Mitcham, Surrey, was given an eight week prison sentence suspended for 12 months by North Essex magistrates after pleading guilty to fraud by false representation.

She was arrested at TK Maxx in Great Western Way on Saturday, after she fooled an assistant and kept hold of money by sleight of hand, leaving the store with a loss of £300.

A 16-year-old girl was also given a youth caution in relation to the incident.

PC Paul Bezzant said: “I hope these positive results reassure the public and local business community that by having a heavier police presence in the town centre at this busy time of year leading up to Christmas Day, that we will target opportunistic criminals and anyone committing anti-social behaviour.”

Dasher is a high visibility policing operation, with officers, PCSOs and specials on foot patrol every day in the town centre and Old Town until Christmas Eve.

It is supported by inSwindon Bid’s Street Team, Swindon Borough Council CCTV operators and store security staff, also involves a police mobile unit and officers in plain clothes deployed on covert patrols.