Man becomes second in Doncaster to be issued banning order for '˜aggressive begging'

A man has become the second in the borough to be issued a banning order for aggressive begging in Doncaster town centre.

Monday, 10th October 2016, 11:11 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 4:22 pm
Shoppers at Doncaster Markets on Christmas Eve 2015. Traders say even though it looks busy, there are less people than there has been previously and business is the worst it has been for many years.

The action comes as police bid to crack down on the issue in the area.

Robert Lynskey, aged 35, is now banned from begging anywhere in South Yorkshire after he was issued with a criminal behaviour order for two years at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court last week.

As part of the order Lynskey must not approach either in person or verbally beg from any person or instructing or encouraging someone to do so on his behalf anywhere in South Yorkshire.

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He is also prohibited from sitting and begging, or encouraging anyone to do the same.

Doncaster police chief Supt Neil Thomas says Lynskey was given the order following a persistent campaign of aggressive begging at Doncaster marketplace, adding that it forms part of the police’s strategy to crackdown on anti-social behaviour.

He said: “We’re very aware of the problems with aggressive begging in the marketplace, and how this affects the number of people visiting.

“After speaking with traders and Doncaster council about their concerns we have put two dedicated officers in place at the marketplace. In the run up to Christmas when there will be more people visiting the town centre we will increase that number to four.”

Police say they are unable to release a picture of Lynskey at this time.

Trader Ash Hanley, who has run the Penny’s fish stall at the marketplace for three years, says he thinks a much bigger police presence is needed to deter aggressive begging in the area.

He said: “The order’s all well and good but if you haven’t got police here what’s to stop him from coming back and doing it again?”

Dave Wilkinson, Assistant Director of Assets and Trading Services, said: “We will continue to work in partnership with the police to make Doncaster town centre a safe and enjoyable place to visit.

“We know there is more work to be done, and this partnership working will be crucial in tackling the issue.”