A man has been banned from Blackpool town centre for persistent begging.
Paul Cuthbert, 42, of St Annes Road, South Shore, has been given a two year anti-social behaviour order which prohibits him from entering the town centre unless attending a pre-arranged appointment at an official building, chemist or treatment centre.
It also bans him from begging, sitting outside business premises and using abusive, threatening or insulting behaviour.
It comes after he was spotted begging and stealing in the town centre over a six month period on such a regular basis it happened “too often to list” according to court submissions.
Blackpool Magistrates’ Court heard that, on one occasion, Cuthbert used threatening and abusive language to a PCSO and threatened to pull a blade on him.
On another occasion he was threatening and abusive to shop workers and others after being asked to leave Marks and Spencer.
He had already been banned from entering shops by the town centre Shop Watch after being caught stealing on numerous occasions.
He was also jailed earlier this year for 56 days for breaching an interim ASBO aimed at tackling the problem.
The order is the first of its type secured by Blackpool Council’s Public Protection team who have been tasked with reducing street begging by cabinet member, Coun Gillian Campbell.
Coun Campbell said: “Begging can be a huge problem for businesses in that it can be extremely off-putting to tourists and shoppers alike.
“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.”
Blackpool BID (Business Improvement District) was closely involved in seeking the order and welcomed the court’s decision.
Les Ball the BID Business Support Manager said: “This is another example of the great teamwork that goes on in Blackpool town centre.”