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Charges Under the Vagrancy Act 1824 in Bath

Question

How many people were charged with begging in Bath under the Vagrancy Act 1824 in the last 24 months that statistics are available?

 

Answer

Three men who were charged or reported for summons for begging in Bath gave addresses in the Avon and Somerset Constabulary area. One had been warned twice by police officers before being reported for summons.

Officers in Bath recognise that people who beg are often vulnerable and need support. Police are part of a multi-agency response to the issue of begging and homelessness, which includes Julian House, mental health services, Bath and North East Somerset Council and other outreach services.

Officers’ initial contact with people begging is to give advice on support services. If there are complaints of aggressive or abusive behaviour, public substance misuse or anti-social behaviour (ASB), officers can require people to leave the area and/or issue an individual with a warning or notice setting positive conditions such as seeking help and support as well as restrictions on their behaviour. If an individual ignores all warnings and offers of help, officers will take enforcement action, using ASB legislation or prosecution.

FOI reference: 1127/17.

Date of request: 14.09.17.