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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 August, 2004, 15:46 GMT 16:46 UK
Jail threat to aggressive beggars
Beggar (generic)
Beggars often spend the money they raise on drugs
A crackdown on beggars in the centre of Leeds has resulted in 15 interim Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) being handed down by magistrates.

The court was told that the beggars were acting aggressively and between them were making hundreds of pounds a week.

It was said much of the money was then spent on drugs.

The ASBOs ban the 15 from begging anywhere in West Yorkshire, as well as carrying drugs.

Genuine need

The orders are part of a joint city council and police operation to tackle persistent begging in Leeds.

Offenders face jail if they break the orders.

Councillor Les Carter, executive board member responsible for community safety, said: "We have gone to enormous lengths to provide a route out of begging for people in genuine need.

"As a result, we have seen a huge drop in the numbers of beggars in Leeds city centre.

"However, there is an anti-social hard core that will not change their behaviour and who harass and intimidate other people in the city centre."

Success in crackdown on beggars
26 Apr 04  |  West Yorkshire
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14 Oct 03  |  West Yorkshire

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