|New ‘three strikes’ policy to target beggars in Leeds city centre|
A new ‘three-strikes’ policy is being launched in the latest attempt to rid the streets of Leeds of “hard core” beggars.
Supposed down-and-outs found hassling the public for cash in the city centre will initially be given a written ‘amber’ warning ordering them to stop and providing contact details for support organisations if they have genuine housing and health needs.
Those caught a second time face a ‘red’ warning banning them from a designated area for 48 hours. If they still fail to heed the warnings, they could be then be arrested.
Temporary Inspector Andy Berriman, who runs the City Neighbourhood Policing Team, said there were about two dozen beggars who had refused to engage with the authorities in Leeds.
He said: “The ones we’re dealing with – the hard core element – have got somewhere to live and receive benefits.
“We’re are not targeting destitute people, we’re targeting people who are making a living effectively from professionally begging rather than doing an actual trade or a skill.”
Read more: http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/