City centre operation to target begging and street drinking
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A day of action took place in Leicester city centre yesterday (27 June) to move beggars and street drinkers out of the area.
Officers from the city centre neighbourhood team engaged with beggars, street drinkers, and rough sleepers throughout the city and used powers under Section 35 dispersal orders to move a number of them on.
Section 35 powers allow officers to order anyone who they believe to be committing anti-social behaviour, the category for which these offences fall within, to leave the area and not return for a period of 48 hours.
Yesterday a total of six people were arrested. Three person were arrested for being wanted on warrant with one of these people also being arrested for theft, one person was recalled to prison, one person arrested for theft of motor vehicle and one person arrested for burglary.
Five Section 35 orders were issued along with five warnings issued for begging offences. Six stop searches were carried out as well four referrals being made to support services.
Inspector Manjit Atwal, Central Leicester Neighbourhood Policing Area commander, said: “We carried out this operation in response to concerns raised by local businesses about issues with those living and drinking on the streets.
“Although a number of dispersal orders have been given, we have found that a dispersal order isn’t always the best and most appropriate course of action. Many of the people we engaged with are vulnerable so advice and support was given to encourage them to find accommodation or assistance from the many organisations and groups we have within the city who are there to help.
“I would like to thank the support of our partners in particular highlighting the assistance from the street cleansing team, city wardens, Turning Point Leicester and the Dawn Centre."
Inspector Atwal added: “We would like encourage businesses and those who live and visit the city centre to report concerns around this behaviour to local officers or by calling 101 as we often many incidents go unreported. The more we are told about, the better idea we have the overall picture of anti-social behaviour and how we can respond.
“This operation has received positive feedback and we will continue to work closely with our partners to ensure Leicester remains a safe and welcoming place to visit, work and live, and we will carry out similar operations in the future if necessary.”