St Albans Chief Inspector warning after career criminal’s van crushed by police

St Albans Chief Inspector Ken Townsend with the crushed van

St Albans Chief Inspector Ken Townsend with the crushed van - Credit: photo supplied

The police have dealt a crushing blow to a career criminal described as a longstanding “thorn in our side” after his vehicle was seized and destroyed.

Herts Police has persuaded a court to allow the crushing of a van belonging to a prolific criminal w

Herts Police has persuaded a court to allow the crushing of a van belonging to a prolific criminal who was active in St Albans district - Credit: photo supplied

A white Ford Transit van belonging to Bobby Cousins, 33, of Potters Bar, will no longer be able to be used for criminal purposes after the court agreed to it being crushed.

His van was destroyed last Thursday (April 21).

St Albans Chief Inspector Ken Townsend described Cousins as a “career criminal [who] has been a thorn in our side for a number of years.

“He has committed anti-social crime and been a nuisance in St Albans as well as committing crimes in Hertsmere and Dacorum.


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“Between April and October 2015, Cousins has been involved in numerous thefts of fuel and shopliftings.”

These included stealing £15.02 of diesel from a station in Lower Luton Road in Harpenden, taking £80 worth of meat from Tesco Express - also in Harpenden - and six boxes of chocolate from Tesco Express in Wheathampstead.

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Cousins targeted the Co-op store in How Wood, to steal meat on October 13 last year.

CI Townsend said that although many of Cousins’ offences involved stealing goods of relatively low value, “this did not prevent the police successfully applying for the destruction order.

“We won’t hesitate to seize and crush vehicles in the future that are used to commit crime, including environmental crimes like fly-tipping.”

As well as having his van confiscated, Cousins was disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving licence for 12 months, ordered to pay £514.59, including £300 costs, and put on a six-month drug rehabilitation treatment programme, when sentenced on March 10 at St Albans Magistrates’ Court.

After his seized van was crushed, a jubilant DI Townsend said: “It was very satisfying holding his number plate, knowing that he won’t be able to use this vehicle to commit crime or anti-social behaviour again.”

• Hertsmere borough council has been cracking down on fly-tippers, with an unregistered vehicle, which was seized in March, crushed on April 13 at a scrapyard in Watford. Its occupants were arrested on suspicion of fly-tipping offences following a joint operation between the council’s environmental health officers and the police.

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