Crackdown on beggars
POLICE SAY PEOPLE ARE BEING AGGRESSIVELY TARGETTED AT CASH POINTS IN BANGOR
PEOPLE are being pestered at cash machines by beggars, according to the police.
Now the “aggressive and intimidating” begging in Bangor has sparked a crackdown by officers.
Numerous complaints have been made against beggars “trawling” the Upper Bangor area and the town centre asking for cash.
North Wales Police say they receive regular reports from the public and shopkeepers about the problem, and plain clothes officers are now targeting those who are “causing concern”.
Sergeant Dana Baxter, from the Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “The general problem in and around the Bangor area revolves around a few individuals, but for everybody involved it is a real concern.
“We often get calls about aggressive behaviour by beggars, who are often abusive and are generally anti-social. Foul language is used and members of the public claim they often feel intimidated when stood by cash machines.
“Many of the beggars claim they are given large sums of cash, which is often used to fund a habit – which in itself then causes an issue for police.
“Help has been offered to many, such as assistance with housing, but this is often refused.
“Gaining money by begging means they are not engaging with services that are there to help them with their long-term complex issues.
“I am sure a lot of people who are giving cash are doing so in good faith, not understanding where that money goes.”
Sergeant Baxter added it was important to distinguish between the beggars and those who were genuinely homeless.
She said: “We do see people who are genuinely homeless but you won’t see them begging and they don’t impact on the community the same as the beggars do. Many of them claim to be ex-servicemen but we know that this isn’t the case.
“Unfortunately all it takes is a few persistent individuals to create an unwelcoming environment.”
Ian Jones, clerk at Bangor City Council, said: “In today’s society we do have many genuine homeless people and it is unfortunate that these other people carrying out aggressive begging behaviour has caused such concern and threats to ordinary folk going about their business.”
Beggars are asking for cash in Upper Bangor area