Action over begging in Rasen

Chapel Street in Market Rasen, one of the begging 'hot-spots' EMN-161223-121829001
Chapel Street in Market Rasen, one of the begging 'hot-spots' EMN-161223-121829001

Police say they will be taking steps to deal with a problem of begging in Market Rasen.

An appeal was put out by the Market Rasen Neighbourhood Policing Team recently asking for help from the public to solve the issue.

Now police say they are compiling evidence to work with West Lindsey District Council for an ‘appropriate application to court to prevent such behaviour in the area in the future’.

Since the appeal, numerous residents have posted on both the Market Rasen NPT (Neighbourhood Policing Team) and Rasen Chat Facebook pages, that they have been approached by a man and woman 
begging.

Police say that the couple are known to them, and the female normally does the begging with her partner close by.

Members of the NPT said: “This did fade for a short while due to the female leaving the area, however she is now back and the begging is in 
full force yet again.

“The police and other agencies are working hard to solve this problem, but to do this we need members of the public to call in if they are approached for monies or items and consider giving a statement to support 
this.

“We attend the area on a regular basis but as you can appreciate when we make an approach no begging will be taking place so all we can do is move them on.”

A spokesman for Lincolnshire Police told the Market Rasen Mail: “Any reports to us are acted upon and dealt with positively and proportionally.

“We are compiling evidence to work with WLDC (West Lindsey District Council) for an appropriate application to court to prevent such behaviour in the area in the future.

“Naturally we need the reports to continue to form the evidence for this 
application.

“Our advice remains that there is a substantial welfare system in place, and individuals should never give money to beggars.

“If passers-by do wish to assist, then they should do so via recognised charities (either local or national).”

Posting on the Market Rasen NPT Facebook page, one person said: “They have approached me three times - once her in daylight, the second time the man when I was at cash machine in the dark and the third time both of them down Chapel Street when dark. I did email the police.”

Another person said: “I’ve been asked three times by her so I’ve started just ignoring them!”

A spokesman for the national homeless charity Crisis said: “We can’t comment on individual cases but it is an individual decision whether or not people want to give to beggars.

“Those who beg on the streets are often the most vulnerable.

“The most important thing is to be able to help people get off the streets for good.”

West Lindsey District Council has measures in place to provide advice and assistance to people who find themselves in need, either homelessness or facing the threat of imminently being homeless.

Depending on circumstances the council may ensure accommodation is available whilst an investigation is undertaken to determine the council’s legal duty to assist.

Police are urging people to call 101 if they are approached by persons asking for money or items in a bid to help deal with the issue of begging in the town.