Operation will crackdown on begging issue

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A new police operation is tackling beggars in the borough.

Operation Dollar has been launched on the back of increased concerns about people begging in North Shields town centre and Front Street, Tynemouth.

Officers from the local Neighbourhood Policing Team will be carrying out high visibility patrols as well as working with other agencies such as the Changing Lives scheme which aims to help homeless people.

Members of the public are being advised to help and not to give money to beggars.

North Shields and Tynemouth Neighbourhood Inspector Geoff Cross said: “Beggars can be intimidating to some people and put them off from going to certain areas.

“Begging itself is an offence and it is often the case that people who are begging are involved in other crime and anti-social behaviour that has detrimental effect on the community.

“We want people to be able to visit Tynemouth and North Shields without fear of being harassed by beggars.

“Most people begging need help and support or help of some kind, and organisations such as Changing Lives can help put them in touch with the correct support and ensure they get the right help.”

“By ensuring those found begging are directed to the correct support it’s hoped we can reduce the amount of begging taking place on the streets.”