Police focus on begging

Sutton Coldfield police said they are continuing to focus on the problem of begging and rough sleeping in the area.

The areas affected are mainly Wylde Green shopping centre, Sutton Coldfield Town Centre, Mere Green shops, Boldmere Road and the Princess Alice retail park where the beggars/rough sleepers are having a detrimental impact, causing a public nuisance to the local community and the businesses. 

In a statement, the police also said they wanted to reassure everyone they will still focusing on violent crimes, burglary, domestic violence and anti-social behaviour (ASB).

The statement added that officers always try and help individuals who are begging or appear homeless by making referrals to other agencies, whether that is directing them to food banks or helping with housing.

They are now keeping track of individuals and what help has been offered to individuals. They have also used civil interventions against those who have continued to beg after refusing help.
In partnership with Business Watch Schemes through Sutton officers are in regular communication with businesses to share information.

To alleviate the problem posters are now starting to be put up to encourage the police ‘Alternative Giving’ scheme where the public can donate money and be confident that it is going to a good cause.
Increased patrols will be in the areas during the peak times with assistance from joint services, with a view of proactive action taken and not just moving beggars/rough sleepers on.
Street watch groups in the area to conduct patrols, engagement and feedback.
With the help of other agencies, two individuals have completed rehab programmes and they are doing well with another due to start in a few weeks.

What can you do?

Consider our ‘Alternative Giving’ scheme where you can donate www.changeintoaction.org.uk.
Share any information you may have around this issue with the neighbourhood teams and you can use www.streetlink.org.uk to notify of anyone you are concerned may be rough sleeping.
Get in touch with your local neighbourhood team if you would like to get involved with a Street Watch group near you. www.west-midlands.police.uk.

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