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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Adam Dutton

Beggar making £1,700 a month banned from asking for money in cathedral city

Lincolnshire Police / SWNS

A beggar who was on course to make around £21,000 a year from locals in a historic cathedral city has been banned from asking people for money in the street.

James Chambers, 30, was raking in up to £420 a week by persistently begging for cash outside a McDonald’s in Lincoln city centre.

A court heard he would receive a mix of food, goods and money from kind-hearted passers-by, which equated to almost £1,700 each month tax-free.

But Chambers, of no fixed abode, has now been banned from begging in the city centre after being hauled before a court.

He was handed a criminal behaviour order (CBO) prohibiting him from “sitting on the floor or otherwise placing himself in a position to gather money”.

Chambers must also “not approach any person and ask for money or goods” within the city of Lincoln boundary.

Police and council officers found he had earned up to £60 a day over nine months along the High Street and other areas of the city centre.

Chambers was convicted of 13 begging offences and one public order offence dating back to February at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court on September 15.

He was also given a 12-month conditional discharge alongside his three-year CBO, which could land him in jail for up to five years if he were to breach it.

Lincoln Inspector Steve Parker, said: “We do everything we can to work with support agencies like housing, addiction charities and mental health services to reduce offending by individuals while ensuring we protect the public from any harm they might cause.

“We live and work in this community as well, and making the city centre a safe and enjoyable place to visit matters to us and our families.

“Hopefully, people visiting and working in Lincoln can now feel a little more relaxed that they won’t be approached as Chambers’ begging is going to reduce significantly.

“If he does beg in the city centre again, this will be a breach of his court order.”

A Lincolnshire Police spokesperson added: “We keep a continued watch of people who we have issued CBOs for, in partnership with the City of Lincoln Council, and we proactively release their image so that members of the community have the opportunity to stay clear of their offending, and are more able to report an incident if one occurs.

“If you have an incident you feel needs police attention, please contact us on 101.”

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