Police warn of surge in 'aggressive begging' in Doncaster town centre, with some beggars taking £200 a day
As lockdown eases, we have seen a significant increase in visitors to Doncaster town centre, writes Insp Mark Payling.
This has led to more complaints of begging, sometimes aggressively. I ask everyone to avoid giving money to those claiming to be homeless – some take over £200 a day begging. Everyone found sleeping on our streets has been offered help by Doncaster Council’s Complex Lives team – including accommodation and benefits.
Very few refuse this help, but they still go into the town centre to beg claiming they are homeless.
On April 14, we worked with our Fortify Team, Doncaster Council, Immigration services and Northerrn Power Grid in Hexthorpe, visiting 39 addresses in search of cannabis cultivations, illegal immigrants and council tax verifications.
Three men were arrested, suspected of cultivating cannabis, and over 600 plants were seized at three addresses. Two were arrested at a fourth address, suspected of money laundering and entering the country illegally. And £40,000 was seized as well as two cars. This operation took weeks to plan and supported previous and ongoing action.
Please report suspicious activity online, by contacting 101, or anonymously via Crimestoppers.
We also raided houses at Beckett Road, Childers Street, Hyde Park, Craithie Road, Concorde Mews and Haigh Road, leading to eight arrests and the recovery of 824 cannabis plants, suspected stolen phones and two cars.
We placed a knife arch in the Frenchgate Centre last week and with help and support of Frenchgate staff, searched 32 people. A woman aged 58, acting suspiciously, was stopped and found in possession of two large knives. She was arrested and found to be on a prison licence not to possess such items in public.
A Vauxhall Corsa was stopped on Wheatley Hall Road on April 4 after being driven away from officers at speed. It had been stolen on Adlard Road. It was abandoned and four occupants ran off. Three were detained in a compound on Wheatley Hall Road for burglary and dangerous driving.
On April 22 a man was arrested and charged on suspicion of going equipped on Florence Avenue in Balby. He was seen on a home cctv system on a driveway. He was
searched and found in possession of pliers.
Finally our next Facebook engagement event will be on April 29, 5.30pm until 6.30pm.