Crack­down on beg­gars

PO­LICE SAY PEO­PLE ARE BE­ING AG­GRES­SIVELY TARGETTED AT CASH POINTS IN BAN­GOR

Bangor Mail - - NEWS - Ton David­son

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

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