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Monday, 3 February, 2003, 16:22 GMT
Beggars barred from city centre
A beggar
Nottingham is trying to reduce city centre begging
Two female beggars have been banned from a city centre and warned they face jail if they step inside a specially defined "exclusion zone".

Margaret Edlin, 25, and Della O'Halloran, 22, are the first people to be made subject of the order in Nottingham, where they have had a series of convictions for demanding money from shoppers.

Both women have also been barred from begging anywhere within Nottinghamshire.

A Nottingham City Council spokesman said: "The terms of the orders are the toughest yet to be imposed on a beggar in Nottingham.

Persistent begging

"Both orders remain in force for one year and were granted to the city council at a hearing at Nottingham County Court last month."

Being hassled for money is a problem that we know many people who visit Nottingham city centre find a nuisance or even intimidating

Councillor Sue Scott
The spokesman said the court heard that Edlin had been convicted 18 times for begging and O'Halloran 13 times within 18 months.

An exclusion zone, which includes the entire city centre, is in effect as part of the ban.

"If they breach the orders the council can apply to commit them to prison for contempt of court, which carries a maximum sentence of two years," the spokesman said.

Nottingham city councillor Sue Scott said: "Being hassled for money is a problem that we know many people who visit Nottingham city centre find a nuisance or even intimidating.

"Seeking a banning order is not a decision we take lightly but we feel it was justified in respect of these two women.

"Their begging was persistent and it's clear they were not deterred by acquiring a string of convictions for their behaviour."


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17 Dec 02 | England
23 Oct 02 | England
08 Oct 00 | UK
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