Sheffield Waitrose 'one of worst' for aggressive begging

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Waitrose on Ecclesall Road in SheffieldImage source, Google
Image caption,
Waitrose on Ecclesall Road was "Sheffield West's highest repeat caller" to police in January 2018

Police received 568 calls about "aggressive begging" at an upmarket Sheffield supermarket over a year.

South Yorkshire Police said complaints about intimidating behaviour at Ecclesall Road's Waitrose had made it one of the "biggest sources of repeat calls to police".

Chief Constable Stephen Watson said the true figures could be larger as many people did not lodge formal complaints.

However, he said problems were now "zero" following a nine-month strategy.

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, said the store was "Sheffield West's highest repeat-caller" at the start of 2018.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service reported "aggressive begging" was also a problem at Tesco Express on Sharrow Lane and in the surrounding area.

The South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Accountability Board heard local neighbourhood officers implemented "problem-solving policing" for Waitrose, with "long-term answers to prevent repeat issues" rather than just responding to each call individually.

Mr Billings said neighbourhood policing teams on the ground who "understand and own the problem" also helped reduce the amount of "aggressive" begging.

A group of eight people was identified and the force made two arrests during the course of the year, a spokesperson for the force added.

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