Along with rough sleeping, Southend has also seen an increase in people street begging. Whilst some people may be happy to give money, begging can be intimidating and unwanted for many. Aggressive begging and anti-social behaviour is not acceptable, and needs to be deterred.
This anti-social activity can and does have a detrimental impact upon our local community. It affects everyone; the businesses, residents, and visitors, and heightens people’s concerns for their personal safety.
WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT IT?
Where such individuals are identified or where individuals have been offered support services but continue to cause issues, a stepped approach of intervention and enforcement is taken by the council and Essex Police.
As part of the enforcement approach, 15 Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBO’s) have already been secured against these individuals which may include exclusionary conditions not to enter the High Street or be seated in a position where they are considered begging (this can be borough-wide to prevent displacement).
In addition to these conditions, we also include positive requirements forcing them to engage with services to address their anti-social behaviour, such as Southend Treatment and Recovery Service (STARS) in an effort to deal with their challenges and help turn their life around.
CBO’s are only issued as a last resort and once the prevention and intervention measures have failed. Work is carried out daily by the Police, Southend Borough Council, commissioned and voluntary services to ensure that opportunities are taken to engage with these individuals.