Nottingham

Police report drop in number of Nottingham beggars

The number of people begging in Nottingham has fallen by almost 85% in the past four years, police say.

The current number of beggars is eight compared with 60 in 2008.

Officers said they had worked with homeless charities and other agencies to tackle the problems behind begging such as alcohol and drug addiction.

Michael Leng of Framework, a housing charity, agreed the number of beggars had fallen, but added the problem was "unlikely to go away".

Alcohol seized

He said that "chaotic drug and alcohol misuse are the predominant issues behind street begging".

In the past 10 months, officers have conducted more than 30 special operations in the city resulting in more than 3,600 alcohol confiscations, a police spokesman said.

Sgt Paul Harris of Nottinghamshire Police said: "We sit down with support agencies every month and identify the more prolific beggars and we look at all their individual needs... and try to put a long-term solution in place to get them out of that lifestyle."

He said money given to street beggars was often used to buy drugs or alcohol and often "goes into the pockets of drug dealers".

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