Leeds & West Yorkshire

Court stops Leeds city centre ban on begging

A council must stop using injunctions to ban beggars from the city centre, a court has ruled.

Leeds City Council brought in powers to deal with persistent begging in June, allowing it to fast-track repeat offenders through the courts.

But after a legal challenge brought by two people served with injunctions a judge discharged the ban.

A council spokeswoman said it would use new laws to "to control persistent begging".

Lawyers for the two men argued before Judge Saffmann, sitting in the High Court in Leeds, that the injunction should not have been granted as other laws could have been used.

'Completely unacceptable'

They also claimed the injunction was invalid as Leeds City Council obtained a blanket ban against "persons unknown" rather than issuing injunctions on named individuals.

Speaking after the ruling a spokeswoman from Leeds City Council said that new legislation being introduced next month would allow the authority "to control persistent begging without the need to invoke this injunction".

She added: "This result does not change our stance on persistent begging.

"We do not tolerate people who have absolutely no reason to beg, refuse any offers of help, and instead decide to continue begging in the city."

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