Aggressive beggar banned from town centre for two years

Blackpool Magistrates Court
Blackpool Magistrates Court
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A beggar has received a two-year ban from Blackpool town centre for persistently asking strangers for money.

Blackpool Magistrates’ Court heard how Jody Neil, 38, of no fixed address, caused problems for businesses in the town and had begun to display aggressive behaviour on a regular basis.

Jody Neil has been given an ASBO and banned from Blackpool town centre for begging.

Jody Neil has been given an ASBO and banned from Blackpool town centre for begging.

Neil was previously prosecuted for the same offence but carried on, leading to Blackpool Council applying for an Anti Social Behaviour Order.

The two-year Asbo prohibits him from entering the town centre apart from to access an official building, chemist or treatment centre for a pre-arranged appointment.

Neil is also banned from asking people he does not know for money and sitting or remaining outside any business for the purpose of asking people he does not know for cash.

Coun Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for public protection, said: “Begging can be a huge problem for businesses in that it can be extremely off-putting to tourists and shoppers alike.

“It can also be extremely intimidating for shop staff, families and young children.

“We have been working with town centre businesses, Blackpool BID and Blackpool Police to tackle the problem.

“While we recognise that many people involved in begging can be vulnerable individuals - and we will do what we can to help those people - our primary objective is to ensure the town centre is a safe and attractive place for people to visit.”

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