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First warnings to beggars issued in Preston city centre crackdown

Posted on - 19th August, 2016 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Crime, News, Preston City Centre
One of the warning letters and a homeless man on Preston's streets

One of the warning letters and a homeless man on Preston’s streets

The first warnings have been issued to persistent beggars in Preston city centre.

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Preston Police were out with officers from Preston City Council in the Off The Streets campaign.

They have issued five community protection warnings to people who they say are begging for money but have housing and claim benefits.

Read more: Heartbreaking note shows a chink of kindness to the homeless in Preston

Launched by Preston’s Business Improvement District the campaign sees staff from The Foxton Centre working alongside police officers and the council to offer support to those on the streets.

The warning letter given to the five people states they must ‘cease the activity of begging for money or other items anywhere within the city of Preston’.

If the person ignores the warning letter they will be issued with a community protection notice.

Read more: How do community protection notices work?

This notice could see them appear in court and face a fine of up to £20,000.

Preston BID’s Mark Whittle said when the campaign launched on Monday: “Many city centre businesses that we represent have made it clear that anti-social begging creates a negative impression of our city centre.

“Collectively, we want to see those who genuinely need help get it and are very happy to be working with others to ensure that is the case. However, we are acutely aware that many people, who work in our city centre, or visit, are being deceived; this needs to be stop’.”

The campaign has the broad support of Blog Preston readers, with 77% saying there had been an increase in begging in recent months and it was irritating them.

How can I help the homeless in Preston?

The Off The Street fund, with money going to the Foxton Centre, can be donated to by texting 700 70 with the letters ‘OFTS 99’ followed by the amount.

Or there’s a dedicated Off The Streets section on the Foxton Centre website, and you can also make a donation – either financial, or otherwise.

What do you think about the crackdown? Do you support it? Or think it is not needed? Let us know in the comments below

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