A man who continued to beg and harass people in Peterborough city centre, despite being offered help and support, has been jailed.
Earl Allen, 50, was seen by CCTV operators outside Argo Lounge, in Bridge Street, approaching members of the public with his hands held together in a pleading motion on Thursday evening last week.
He was arrested because it flouted a clause of his criminal behaviour order (CBO) imposed in the summer, namely not to “approach any person with the intention of asking for money or any other object”.
And it triggered a 12-week suspended sentence, for four breaches of his CBO, handed out on Thursday, just hours before he was arrested.
Allen, of Towler Street, Peterborough city centre, appeared at Huntingdon Magistrates’ Court on Saturday (28 January) where his suspended sentence was activated. He admitted breaching his CBO and a racially aggravated public order offence after abusing a police officer while being arrested.
Sergeant Andy Gladders, from Peterborough’s City Centre neighbourhood policing team, said: “Allen is a prolific, aggressive beggar and his behaviour is often intimidating and threatening.
“Despite working with local neighbourhood policing teams and partner agencies, such as drug & alcohol and mental health support services, Allen has continued to cause a nuisance to the public.
“I would like to reassure the local community that support continues to be in place to help divert Allen away from offending behaviour, however, for as long as he is offending or causing anti-social behaviour, we will take enforcement action.”
Allen’s CBO was imposed on 12 August and also stipulated he must not:
- Place or hold any item in front or near to himself in such a manner as to attract passers-by to place money in it
- Cause any anti-social behaviour as defined by harassment, alarm, or distress in a public place
Allen had received offers of help and support to change his behaviour as part of Operation Luscombe.
However, he had not engaged and on Thursday evening officers from the city centre Neighbourhood Policing Team were alerted to his begging while on joint patrols with Peterborough City Council’s Rough Sleeper Outreach team.
Operation Luscombe uses a traffic light, four-stage, warning system to encourage those found begging to seek support for their often-complex needs. It uses anti-social behaviour legislation, as opposed to making arrests, with recognition given that the offenders are often vulnerable and should also be considered as victims.
The system ranges from a green notice, which invites people to a “hub”, to a blue notice, meaning their behaviour is raising the likelihood of arrest and potentially a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO), which could ban them from a certain area or require them to engage with support agencies.
Find out more about Operation Luscombe on the force website.