Bothersome beggars are given bans

Michael Davison
Michael Davison

Three beggars have been barred from parts of North Tyneside, after they repeatedly intimidated and harassed people in the borough.

A North Shields county court judge ruled in separate hearings that Ian Brown, 41, Michael Davison, 20, and Stephanie Johnson, 32, can no longer enter parts of North Tyneside.

Ian Brown

Ian Brown

The trio could face arrest if they go into areas of Whitley Bay and Tynemouth – or alight at certain Metro stations – and Brown is also banned from parts of North Shields.

North Tyneside Council and Northumbria Police took the action after the three individuals aggressively harassed and frightened people in and around the town centres and in Metro stations.

Davison and Johnson, both of Avon Avenue, North Shields, caused misery and fear to residents and visitors, while Brown, of no fixed abode, caused similar upset.

Richard Mitchell, manager of the council’s community and public protection team, said: “Although this isn’t a widespread issue in our borough, North Tyneside is a fantastic place to live, work and visit and we will take firm and appropriate action against anyone who tries to spoil it.

Stephanie Johnson

Stephanie Johnson

“We don’t want anyone to feel unsafe or intimidated here and the behaviour of these three individuals has been a persistent issue over recent months.

“The council continues to work closely with the police and charities to make sure people who are genuinely homeless receive support and help finding suitable housing, however we will not tolerate those who portray themselves as homeless in order to make money from generous and unsuspecting members of the public.”

Neighbourhood Sgt Guy Morgan added: “We’ve been working in partnership with the council and local organisations to ensure public safety.

“While this is not a regular occurrence in the area, we appreciate that there have been some community concerns and this goes a long way to reassuring the public that we are taking those concerns seriously and tackling the issue.”

The injunctions will remain in force for two years, during which time posters will be displayed in North Tyneside, warning people that the three people should not be in the areas.

For help and advice for anyone who does find themselves homeless in North Tyneside, visit www.northtyneside.gov.uk, call 0345 2000 101 or go to one of the borough’s four customer first centres which can be found in each town centre.