A persistent beggar who earned up to £40 to £60 a day by asking people for money has been given an order banning him from begging on the streets of Lincoln.
James Chambers, 30, of no fixed address, persistently begged for money outside McDonald's in High Street or in other areas of the city centre. He received a mix of food, goods and cash from the people passing by.
Over the last nine months, the Lincoln Centre Neighbourhood Policing Team, local anti-social behaviour officer, and the City of Lincoln Council have worked hard to offer support and reduce offending, including issuing warning letters and community protection notices. They have also collected the evidence needed to get a positive outcome in court.
Chambers was convicted of 13 begging offences and one public order offence from incidents dating back to February at a hearing at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court on 15 September. He was given a 12-month conditional discharge and a three-year Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) which means there are now enforceable restrictions on his activities to limit his offending and protect the public. The restrictions mean he must not:
Sit on the floor or otherwise place himself in a position to gather money or goods within the city of Lincoln boundary.
Approach any person and ask for money or goods within the city of Lincoln boundary.
A CBO is a civil order designed to tackle the most serious and persistent anti-social individuals where their behaviour has brought them before a criminal court. If the CBO is breached, this is a criminal offence and a custodial sentence can be enforced. For the most serious offences, this can be up to five years.
Lincoln Inspector Steve Parker, said: “We do everything we can to work with support agencies like housing, addiction charities and mental health services to reduce offending by individuals while ensuring we protect the public from any harm they might cause.
"We live and work in this community as well, and making the city centre a safe and enjoyable place to visit matters to us and our families. Hopefully, people visiting and working in Lincoln can now feel a little more relaxed that they won’t be approached as Chambers’ begging is going to reduce significantly. If he does beg in the city centre again, this will be a breach of his court order.”
We keep a continued watch of people who we have issued CBOs for, in partnership with the City of Lincoln Council, and we proactively release their image so that members of the community have the opportunity to stay clear of their offending, and are more able to report an incident if one occurs.
If you have an incident you feel needs police attention, please contact us on 101.