A “hard core” of Leeds beggars are facing court action in a sweeping crackdown.
Police are pursuing legal proceedings against a group of people who illegally hassle the public for cash in the city centre.
The news comes after a vicious attack on a woman who refused to give cash to a beggar sparked outrage among Yorkshire Evening Post readers.
Lyndsay Gudger, 30, from east Leeds, was knocked unconscious and suffered a bleed on the brain after being assaulted by two men who confronted her when she walked past a man asking for change on a night out.
Coun John Hardy, lead member for homelessness at Leeds City Council, said: “I’d very much like to offer sincere sympathy to Ms Gudger over this appalling, unprovoked attack and I understand the police are pulling out all the stops to catch the perpetrators.
“Begging is not an issue we take lightly and we, alongside the police, are committed to tackling the problem in Leeds.
“One way in which this is being pursued is by court action being taken by the police against a hard core of beggars.”
Miss Gudger has been in and out of hospital since her attack last month and has had to move in with her mother to help her look after her two young children.
Police are still looking for the two men who assaulted her.
Her ordeal prompted a flood of comments on the YEP website.
Among them was one from a reader employed by Leeds charity St George’s Crypt, who said: “Genuine beggars are usually grateful and if not given any monies just pass it off, but this new breed are just plain nasty... the point I’m trying to make is not to give as there are resources there.”
The crypt runs a voucher scheme that people can donate to in order to pay for meals for genuinely homeless people.