Nuisance 'beggar' banned from Metro station

Police hailed victory in tackling two persistent "beggars" who have caused a public nuisance.

Tuesday, 21st June 2016, 8:40 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st June 2016, 9:43 am
Colin Martin.

Northumbria Police said two of men have had enforcement action taken against them through the courts after an initiative launched following complaints from residents.

Colin Martin, 30, has been issued with a 12 month Criminal Behaviour Order at North Tyneside Magistrates' Court on Monday, June 13. The order prohibits him from approaching anyone to ask for money, and bans him from Tynemouth Metro Station (except from passing through on a train).

In addition he was also jailed for 12 weeks after being convicted of a public order offence, resisting a police officer in the execution of their duty and a Metro offence.

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A second man, Andrew Keenan, 27, was summonsed to appear before the same court, earlier this year (on April 13), for persistent begging after officers on patrol had noted his behaviour on several occasions. He was ordered to pay a £60 fine and a victim surcharge of £20 and costs of £85.

The action came after complaints from people in the North Shields, Tynemouth and Whitley Bay areas.

Neighbourhood Sergeant Guy Morgan, said: "We are pleased with the response from the court who have dealt with these individuals in an appropriate manner. It shows the community that their concerns around persistent beggars are taken seriously and that enforcement action is carried out by officers and our partners.

"Our joint work is ongoing to ensure that the streets and Metro areas are not blighted by persistent beggars. Our priority is listening and responding to the concerns of our communities and we're committed to make sure North Tyneside remains a great place for people to live in and visit through our partnership work."

Police said officers and council are continuing to work together to ensure individuals who are genuinely homeless and in need of support get the help they need by working with the homeless charity Changing Lives. The charity aims to find them suitable accommodation to help get them off the streets.

They said initiative also identifies individuals who are just portraying themselves as homeless in order to make money from generous unsuspecting members of the public.

A police spokesman said: "In cases of persistent beggars who demonstrate anti-social behaviour and show harassing and aggressive behaviour, then police and partners will take action. Such offenders will continue to be dealt with firmly and injunctions can be brought against those who repeatedly beg in public when it is known that they are not genuinely homeless and when they are refusing to engage with support agencies.

"We would encourage members of the public to inform Northumbria Police via 101 of anyone begging on the streets so that an appropriate response can be given."