Concerns raised over Hatfield's 'intimidating' beggars

PUBLISHED: 16:08 16 January 2019

Hilltop shopping parade in Hatfield. Picture: Casey Gutteride

Hilltop shopping parade in Hatfield. Picture: Casey Gutteride

Casey Gutteridge

A number of Hatfield businesses have raised concerns with police over beggars in the town who are behaving in an "aggressive manner".

Officers in Welwyn Hatfield would like to remind residents of the steps they can take if they are approached by individuals begging in an aggressive manner.

This is following a number of reports from businesses in the Hilltop shops area in High View, South Hatfield.

PC Jessica Gibbs, from the Welwyn Hatfield Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “We’re aware that some people are begging in an aggressive manner, and this can be distressing and intimidating.

“If this happens to you please report it to us as soon as possible so that we can take the appropriate action.

“We always work with our partners to support vulnerable people and those in genuine need of help to turn their lives around.

“Police have the power to issue Criminal Protection Notices and Criminal Behaviour Orders, which are designed to stop this illegal behaviour and direct the person concerned towards help from organisations that can provide support and expert advice.

“If these notices and orders are not adhered to, further action can then be taken - including the individual being arrested.

“It’s understandable that you may want to help those you see begging, however it is often the case that these individuals have complex issues and addictions.

“Giving them money will not necessarily help them to overcome these problems.

“We would advise those who would like to help the homeless to donate to recognised charities instead as they will be able to offer structured and long-term help and support.”

Aggressive begging can be reported to Hertfordshire Constabulary via the non-emergency number 101 or online at www.herts.police.uk/Report.

If a crime is in progress, or someone’s life is in danger, you should always call 999.

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