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Police warn of begging rise in Barnstaple town centre

12:43 14 April 2014

Archant

Do not give money to street beggars, urge officers.

POLICE in Barnstaple are urging people not to give money to beggars claiming to be homeless or without food.

Members of the town centre’s neighbourhood beat team say there has been an increase in begging and associated anti-social behaviour in the town.

PC Mark Slee warned that evidence suggested people who beg on the street do so to fund alcohol and drug addiction, which can lead to an increase in petty crime.

He said: “Many of the people I have stopped in town recently are not homeless; they have their own flats and are in receipt of benefits for food and drink.”

He said that North Devon offered various outreach teams that can support people who are addicted to drugs, alcohol and who may find themselves temporarily homeless.

“There are also various charities and support services locally who work closely with the homeless community and giving your time or donation to these organisations would be far more impactive,” he added.

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