A prolific city beggar has received a three-year Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO), which prohibits her from begging in Nottingham city centre.

Charlene Wright, aged 32, of London Road, was sentenced on 30 November in her absence and was found guilty of further begging incidents and was issued with a fine of £80. The Magistrate also issued Wright with a three-year CBO.

Wright has regularly been seen begging or sleeping rough in Nottingham city centre over the last few years.  However, after repeatedly refusing to work with support services in order to address her behaviour, Wright has amassed numerous convictions for begging and public order related offences.

After accepting hostel accommodation, Wright along with her partner would still sleep rough in prominent locations in shop doorways in order to maximise her chances of waking up with cash placed beside her by passing members of the public. Unfortunately after joint partnership working with numerous support agencies it became clear that the cash acquired would inevitably support her and her partner’s drug misuse.

Nottingham City Council’s Community Protection applied to the Court for the CBO to protect the public from Wright’s persistent offending behaviour after members of the public and staff of numerous businesses frequently complained to both the police and the council about her begging behaviour.

Wright is now prohibited by her CBO from begging or placing herself in positions to beg within the city centre. Breach of her CBO could result in a maximum of a five year custodial sentence.  It is hoped this Court Order will encourage her to seek help and support in addressing her needs to beg and help her exit her current disruptive lifestyle.

Portfolio Holder for Community and Customer Services, Councillor Toby Neal, said: “Despite Wright accepting hostel accommodation, she still chose to sleep rough and beg across the city. We expect her to comply with the Order and hope she will seek to address her offending behaviour by addressing its root causes through rehabilitation.

“We would urge people not to give directly to people who beg for money. We know that in many cases individuals begging are not homeless and the money raised by begging is likely will be spent on drugs, which can have a very damaging effect on of the user. If you feel that you want to help by donating money then please give to those local charities working directly with vulnerable people.”

Nottingham City Council with the help of its partners will continue to work with offenders who engage in begging to offer them the support they need in order for them to desist from further offending.

If you see someone sleeping on the streets call Framework’s Street Outreach Service on 0800 0665356. To report an incident of drug misuse call the 101 police telephone number.