Mixed views on plans to tackle aggressive begging in our towns

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Plans to introduce fines for aggressive beggars have met with a mixed response from our readers.

The council is consulting over plans to introduce a new Public Spaces Protection order (PSPO) to combat begging after receiving reports that people felt threatened into handing over money.

Several people said they were aware of it taking place in the city and town centres.

VIDEO: ‘Aggressive beggars need to be moved out of town’
Alan Buckler, who works in Pontefract, said: “It’s quite predominant, the amount of people continually begging.

“They’re sat outside shops, you feel intimidated when you go in and it has increased over the last several months.”

But although many people are aware of aggressive begging, the proposed new measures have been criticised by those who believe that the fines would be ineffective and target the wrong people.

Speaking on Twitter, Louise said: “Not sure I’ve ever seen an aggressive beggar in Wakefield.”

Samantha Jayne said: “Surely they wouldn’t be begging in the first place if they had money, so how are they meant to pay fines?” Tom Hawkins said: “I’d question whether it really is aggressive begging or just a way of the council getting rid of the homeless. I’d support it if it was really tackling aggressive behaviour.”

Christopher Hudson said: “They will be even more aggressive! Just make them get out of town.”

Coun Maureen Cummings said the rule would only be used to penalise those who behave aggressively. The consultation runs until August 19 go to www.wakefield.gov.uk/pspo for more.