A man who racially abused and spat at a council officer has been banned from entering a North East high street. 

Whilst patrolling Stockton High Street in April 2023, two Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council Civic Enforcement Officers approached 64-year-old Gary Oliver, who proceeded to shout racial abuse at them.

The incident was reported to Cleveland Police and officers from Stockton’s Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) arrested Oliver who became aggressive and spat in the face of one of the officers.

Oliver, of Hertford Road in Stockton, was arrested and charged with assaulting an emergency worker and five counts of racially aggravated Section 4 Public Order following incidents of racial abuse relating to five individuals.

The Northern Echo: A police officerA police officer (Image: CLEVELAND POLICE)

He was found guilty of all six offences and appeared at Teesside Magistrates’ Court on Thursday  (November 16) where he was handed a 12-week prison sentence which was suspended for 12 months.

Along with the two-year CBO, Oliver was also ordered to pay compensation.

CEOs respond to complaints of nuisance and environmental issues and regularly work alongside Cleveland Police to put in place preventative measures to stop problems occurring in the community.

Last month, Cleveland Police and Stockton Borough Council announced a zero-tolerance approach to abuse and assaults against Civic Enforcement Officers (CEOs).

Chief Inspector Dan Heron, from Stockton’s Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT), said: “Civic Enforcement Officers work extremely hard to make our town centres a better place to spend to time in and, without a doubt, their work directly benefits the local community.

“Abuse of any kind is wholly unacceptable, and no one should come to work and be verbally attacked whilst doing their job. I hope this sends out a clear message that we will not tolerate such behaviour.

“We will continue to work closely with Stockton Borough Council to improve the quality of lives of residents in Stockton.”

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Councillor Norma Stephenson, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Access, Communities and Community Safety, added: “Formal action is always a last resort, but when aggressive or nuisance behaviour has a detrimental impact on our communities, we have to strike a fair balance with the need to protect our residents, visitors and businesses.

“Unfortunately, Mr Oliver breached the conditions of the Public Space Protection Order in Stockton Town Centre with persistent intimidating drink-related behaviour.

“Despite several warnings, he has continued to harass, threaten and verbally abuse others, including our own staff. This behaviour will not be tolerated and I’m pleased that the court decided to serve this two-year Criminal Behaviour Order.”