Crackdown on beggars

Street beggars in Blackpool
Street beggars in Blackpool
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Blackpool Council has warned it will continue to crack down on bad behaviour in the town centre after a beggar was given a criminal anti-social behaviour order (CRASBO).

David Massey, 45, pleaded guilty to seven offences of asking for money at Blackpool magistrates on Thursday,

Coun Gillian Campbell - against Scottish independence

Coun Gillian Campbell - against Scottish independence

Coun Gillian Campbell said the authority would remain vigilant against “nuisance” offenders.

She added: “This individual has been a nuisance in the town centre, begging and causing problems for law abiding citizens.

“As a result we successfully sought this order which prevents him from begging within the town centre.

“If he breaches the order he may face a much more severe punishment.”

A CRASBO is a criminally sought Anti Social Behaviour Order, with the aim to protect the public from anti-social behaviour.

Massey, of Albert Road, Blackpool, is now barred from causing alarm or distress to people in the town centre, cannot beg by himself or incite others to beg or use intimidating behaviour.

He was also warned he must not ask any member of the public for money or sit or remain outside business or shop premises in the town centre.

Lynda Bennett, prosecuting for Blackpool Council, said Massey was repeatedly told to move on as he begged for money using a plastic pot or black hat to collect money.

He would swear and threaten Police Community Support Officers and Blackpool Council staff, telling one: “Wait until I get you on your own. I will do you.”

Mitch Serangi, defending, said he felt the demand for a CRASBO was “somewhat over the top, in the circumstances.”

He added: “My client accepts he did use bad language.This is the first time he has appeared at court for begging offences and if he breaks the terms of this order he faces prison.

“I gather the council is preparing to use this type of order against the beggars it takes to court before the orders themselves are scrapped by the Government.”

But Coun Campbell added: “This case is part of our continuing crackdown on bad behaviour in the town which is designed to reduce the problems that members of the public experience as a result of the behaviour of anti-social individuals.”

Massey was fined £35 and must pay a £15 victims’ surcharge.