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'Persistent' Sunderland beggar could face up to FIVE YEARS jail if she breaches Criminal Behaviour Order

A ‘nuisance’ city centre beggar has been warned she faces up to five years in jail if she breaches a Criminal Behaviour Order.

Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 4:52 pm

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Sunderland City Council has secured a two-year order against Erica Purvis, of Athol Road, Hendon, in a bid to address anti-social behaviour in the city centre.

Council bosses say Purvis is living in a privately rented property and has access to funds, so does not need to beg.

The council said it had received several complaints from Northumbria Police, Sunderland BID, Nexus, and city centre visitors.

High Street West, Sunderland.

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Under the terms of the order, Purvis must:

not cause any disorder in the Park Lane interchange this includes the bus terminals and train station to the annoyance of Nexus staff

not approach any member of the public to solicit money

not loiter in any public place or throughfare with any sign, item, and/or animal or hold out your hand to any person in a manner that would give another person the impression that you are begging or intend to beg

Any breaches of the order which was secured against her at South Tyneside Magistrates Court on Tuesday, January 18 could result in jail time.

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The city council’s antisocial behaviour (ASB) team said complaints had been received from members of the public whose visit to the city centre had been impacted by her continued behaviour and businesses also stated trade was being affected.

Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Claire Rowntree said: "In cases like this, where an individual has persisted with antisocial behaviour despite a warning and Community Protection Notice, and will not engage in relevant support, we have no alternative but to seek legal action.

"Everyone has the right to feel safe in the city centre and should feel free to go about their business without being subjected to intimidating or threatening behaviour. Likewise, the city’s businesses should not be impacted by this."

Inspector Jamie Southwell, of Northumbria Police, added: “We are committed to ensuring our city centre is as safe as possible for everyone. That is only possible through close work with the council and other partners, and this is the result of what has been an excellent team effort.

"I’d like to thank everyone involved, especially the officers who’ve shown outstanding determination and effort to help secure this outcome."

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