Aggressive begging a big issue in Birmingham
7 June 2012
A POLICE operation to crack down on aggressive begging in Birmingham city centre has been hailed a success.
Officers in the city centre have been working alongside officials from The Big Issue to identify illegitimate sellers of the magazine and other aggressive beggars while providing help and advice to the homeless.
Officers have arrested and charged a total of 8 people for begging related offences today and also assisted in the arrest of 2 people wanted on suspicion of conspiring to supply Class A drugs by Warwickshire Police.
The team also referred several homeless individuals to helpful organisations including housing associations and substance misuse organisations.
As a result of these referrals, 4 homeless people have been put forward as possible official status as sellers of The Big Issue.
This will enable these individuals to sell the Big Issue legitimately and make a small profit.
Police also worked with officals from The Big Issue to speak with several legitimate sellers of the magazine, and received an overwhelming support for their crackdown on false or aggressive sellers.
Sergeant Dave Gregory, responsible for the policing of this operation, said: "This operation has proved to be a real success for the people of Birmingham.
"Increased enforcement has resulted in 8 aggressive beggars being taken off the street, while legitimate sellers of the Big Issue and other homeless members of the community have been able to get support and assistance.
"We will continue to crack down on aggressive beggars throughout the summer while at the same time recognising the challenges faced by those less fortunate in society."
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