A woman has had her prison sentence extended further after the success of a CCTV appeal.

Tamara Gayford, aged 49 and from Hemel Hempstead, was already serving a six  month sentence at HMP Peterborough for a previous theft offence.

A CCTV appeal was issued by Hertfordshire Constabulary after a woman had her handbag stolen whilst shopping in the Tesco store in the Brookefield Centre, Cheshunt.

Thanks to assistance from members of the public who reported information following the release of the appeal, officers were able to successfully identify the offender as Gayford.

PC Andy Wise, from the Offender Management Unit, said: “Gayford targeted an elderly, vulnerable woman in her 80s, stealing her handbag from her before attempting to use her bank card several times. She now has to serve an additional six months in prison. I hope she uses this time to reflect on her actions, and the distress that she has caused her vulnerable victims.

“This case is a perfect example of why it’s so important to contact us if you think you recognise someone in one of our CCTV appeals, because it means we can increase the number of convictions achieved and provide a positive outcome to vulnerable victims of crime.

“Sadly, there will always be people who will take advantage – but there are some simple steps you can take to help keep your belongings safe while out and about. Make sure that you keep all purses, mobile phones and any other valuable items at the bottom of your bag, always make sure it is fully zipped up and never leave it unattended. Wallets should be kept in front pockets.

“If you are approached in suspicious circumstances or feel uncomfortable, do not hesitate to walk away and report information to police.”

You can report information online at herts.police.uk/ro/report, speak to an operator in our Force Communications Room via our online web chat at herts.police.uk/contact or call the non-emergency number 101.

Alternatively, you can stay 100% anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form at crimestoppers-uk.org (opens in new window)

You can use our community voice platform ‘echo’ to let us know what you think we should be prioritising in your area. Your feedback will help towards shaping our local policing priorities, initiatives and campaigns. Visit bit.ly/herts-echo and tell us your thoughts.

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