What you said about the new campaign against 'aggressive' begging in Hartlepool town centre
A planned clampdown on aggressive begging in Hartlepool town centre has met with a mixed response from Mail readers.
Officials from Hartlepool Community Safety Team, which includes police, the council and fire service, are launching Operation Grantham in response to concerns from people and businesses.
The team is urging people not to give money to people on the streets as it could contribute to the person’s addiction issues.
Instead, they are encouraging kind-hearted folk to give to official charities and organisations that help those in need.
The news prompted many comments on the Mail’s Facebook page. Here are a selection.
Robbie Flannery: “I’ve not seen any of them aggressive, have we thought maybe people are aggressive towards them, everything is for a reason. Don’t you think it’s time we addressed the real issues, moving these people on will do nothing.”
Vicky Gardiner: “There was a homeless guy outside Morrisons taking drugs the other day – right in front of my kids. I think it's really sad to see so many homeless people now but I don't want my kids seeing that.”
Deanne Brackstone: “I’ve never seen any aggressive behaviour off any of them.”
Mik Sawdon: “Just an enquiry nothing major... Hey Hartlepool Borough Council. Ever thought that people may actually be on hard times due to your extortionate rate in an already poverty ridden town?”
Karlena Radford: “I think if you’re that desperate to sit and beg strangers in the cold and rain then they obviously need money and help.”
Terry Hegarty who volunteers with Hartlepool Town Pastors said: “Sadly because Hartlepool people are so generous the town is now being targeted by organised beggars earning between £50 and £100 per day.”
Nicola Morgan: “I had a awful awful lad outside of Wilkos giving me loads of abuse because I never give him any money! I will not go into town again at that time.”
Jessica Slater: “The bottom of the ramp is a nightmare on a daily basis.”
Cecilia Masterson: “Unfortunately in the situation of being homeless there are some rotten people who have 'jumped on the bandwagon'. There are genuine ones and there are the rogues.”