Police and partners work to tackle begging in North Tyneside

03 Jun 2016 12:10 PM

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Police and partners are working together to tackle the issue of begging across North Tyneside.

Northumbria Police and North Tyneside Council are responding to concerns raised by local people and visitors to North Shields, Tynemouth and Whitley Bay areas. This follows a number of complaints from people who have been approached by people begging for money in local streets and outside local Metro stations.

Now, since the joint initiative began in March, there has been a reduction in the number of reported instances of begging on our streets.

Neighbourhood officers and North Tyneside Council are continuing to take action 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.

The initiative also seeks to identify those who are simply portraying themselves as homeless in order to make money from generous unsuspecting members of the public. 

For persistent beggars who demonstrate anti-social behaviour and in some cases harassing and aggressive behaviour, then police and partners will take action. Such offenders will 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.

Inspector Neil Armsworth of North Shields and Whitley Bay Neighbourhood Policing Teams said: "This operation demonstrates the benefits of a multi-agency approach to this issue and the picture has significantly improved within recent weeks due to sustained co-ordinated activity.  While some very good progress is being made, this issue is still current and all agencies are committed to dealing with this matter in an appropriate and where necessary robust manner."

View the full news release