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How Preston is tackling begging to be discussed

Posted on - 26th June, 2017 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, Charities, Crime, News, Politics, Preston City Centre, Preston Council

An update on how a crackdown on begging in Preston city centre is to be given.

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Businesses operating in the city centre are to meet to discuss the issue.

It comes after the Off Our Streets campaign was launched in August last year.

The scheme saw warnings issued to the public following fake beggars being caught in the city, claiming benefits and pretending to be homeless.

Teaming up with the Foxton Centre the city’s Business Improvement District launched the Off Our Streets fund for donations to be made to instead of money given to those on the streets.

Alongside the new fund a crackdown was launched with the city council issuing community protection notices and court orders to those found to be fraudulently begging.

A Freedom of Information request by Blog Preston – published in March – showed the warning letters had been issued 28 times with four court orders also issued.

Helping the homess
Helping the homeless – the city has seen many responses to helping those less fortunate

Taking place on Monday 17 July a panel including Preston City Council councillor Robert Boswell, PCSO Stephen Connolly, Liz Mossop of the city council’s community services, the Foxton Centre and Preston BID will discuss the need the issue of begging.

The event comes as the city council prepares to introduce a Public Space Protection Order into the city centre to tackle problems with street drinking.

Read more: These girls spent a night on the city’s streets to help the homeless

A spokesman for Preston BID said: “To date, we have launched the ‘Off The Streets’ text fund/campaign – encouraging people to donate to an official fund rather than on the street and begun to issue Community Protection Notices and Warnings to repeat offenders who deceive the public in to thinking they are homeless.

“Pro-active support is available to individuals who genuinely are in need; partners continue to reach out to these people to ensure they are offered advice, guidance and practical support. In order for the collective actions to work, they require the support of city centre businesses, their employees and customers.”

The event is open to businesses and they can email bid@lancschamber.co.uk to attend.

How can I help the homeless?

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 begging on Preston’s streets? Let us know in the comments below

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