Two prolific city beggars have received Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBO), which prohibits them from begging in Nottingham city centre.
Neil Jennison, aged 50, of no fixed abode appeared at Nottingham Magistrates Court on 30 August and was found guilty of using threatening words or behaviour towards two Community Protection Officers. Jennison received an 18 month Conditional Discharge and a two year Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) that prohibits his begging activity in Nottingham city centre.
Jennison has been begging for many years, sitting in doorways and on pavements opposite cash machines begging from passing members of the public. He would often be witnessed walking around the city centre carrying a dog and asking people for their cash.
Jennison would frequently refuse offers of help and support by various homeless and substance misuse agencies. After finally accepting hostel accommodation, he would often choose to sleep rough. When questioned as to this behaviour and preference, Jennison often reacted aggressively towards those tasked in helping and supporting him, particularly in May 2017 when he was found rough sleeping on Station Street. Jennison verbally abused and threatened two Community Protection Officers who were carrying out an early morning welfare check on him. Over time, Jennison amassed a total of ten previous convictions for begging as well as numerous drug related convictions.
Thomas Crampton, aged 27, of no fixed abode, while serving time on remand in custody appeared before Nottingham magistrates on 12 September on five charges of begging, a Section 5 public order offence and a burglary committed within a student accommodation block where he claimed he was sleeping due to being homeless. On pleading guilty, Crampton was sentenced to 12 weeks custody, a £115 fine and a three year Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO).
Crampton would often sit within doorways and on pavements next to cash machines, most persistently on St James’ Street, begging from passing members of the public and those using the ATMs. When questioned by uniformed officers and even members of the public as to his behaviour he often reacted in an aggressive manner causing the public alarm, harassment and distress.
Due to his homeless situation numerous attempts by various agencies, Nottinghamshire Police, Nottingham City Council and street outreach teams tried to help him. However, Crampton continued to refuse offers of support, again often aggressively, particularly while under the influence of illicit substances he was known to use. Crampton over time amassed numerous criminal convictions for public order offences, threatening behaviour and a total of 20 begging convictions.
Cllr Toby Neal, Portfolio Holder for Community and Customer Services, said: “This is a good result for the Community Protection team, who applied to the Court for the CBOs to protect members of the public from Crampton’s and Jennison’s harassment.
“Visitors to the city centre should be free to walk the streets and sit and enjoy their leisure time without being approached and harassed by individuals asking for cash.”
As well as carrying out enforcement, Community Protection Officers also refer individuals found begging in the city to the appropriate support agencies in order to tackle and help address the causes that lead them to beg on the streets. Attempts at such measures are ongoing with Jennison and Crampton.