THE decision to seek a court order preventing a persistent beggar from asking for money in the city centre has sparked plenty of comment on our Facebook page.
Police had described the 37-year-old man as the “most prolific beggar” in Leeds.
Evidence was presented to the court about his aggressive behaviour towards members of the public while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Research by the authorities had also found that he had a home, claims housing benefit and often gets a taxi back to his address in Beeston when he has finished begging for the day.
“Most prolific beggar” in Leeds banned from begging in city centre
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Here’s a selection of what you had to say on the issue:
Chloe West: “This makes me really angry because the first time I saw him was the end of 2012. I had just been paid my wage from my first proper full-time job and I, obviously very naive at the time, fell for his scam and gave him £10. It was probably because I actually felt sorry for the two dogs he had with him and I asked him to make sure they got fed but obviously my money was spent on drugs... now I only give beggars food and a drink as I have learnt my lesson!”
Lianne Sykes: “Makes me so angry and gives genuine homeless people who need help a bad name.”
Angela Mallinson: “I know someone who pretends to be homeless and goes begging and it’s giving the genuinely hard-up a bad name. Admittedly I wouldn’t give money I’d rather buy them a drink and a sarnie.”
Rosie Miles: “This should be applied to the woman who is always pestering at bus stops claiming she has ‘lost her bus ticket’ and has no money! I alone have been asked at least 50 times. Not right at all.”
Natalie Varley: “I have seen him loads of times when I walk to catch my train. Why would anyone beg in the streets when they have a roof over their head and getting money put in his bank account? He should give it up for genuine homeless people that don’t want to be in that situation!”
Benny Karr: “Why some gullible people give the likes of him money is totally beyond me.”
Alison Bacon: “Why is any beggar banned from anything? They deserve better. How dare people feel anything but sympathy and sadness and thankfulness that they themselves are not in the same position. Who knows what situation each one of us might find ourselves facing? Compassion, caring and kindness seem to me to be at the fore when confronted by anyone in need! Anybody resorting to begging for whatever reason needs these basic considerations. We are, after all, part of the same human race.
Makintosh Vicki: “This is the man I offered to get a cup of coffee/tea to every time I passed him but he refused it and just said to give him the money. Most beggars have some sort of an addiction drugs/booze etc and I refuse to fund that, but I will happily buy anyone a warm drink. Now I know why he refused it.”
Sarah Mackintosh: “Some people need to have a rethink. All beggars have some sort of addiction and are at a very low point in their life. We as the public have a choice to give or not!”
Nicola Ramsden: “Maybe if there were better drug and alcohol addiction support services we wouldn’t have so many beggars.”