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[27 MAR 00] WEST MIDLANDS POLICE NEWS
Beggars Fined In City Crackdown

Three Romanian women have been charged and fined for begging in Coventry city centre.

The trio were arrested last week by police after complaints were made about their activities.

They were targeted as part of Operation Shopcote, which was launched following a spate of begging in the city centre.

The three women, who are asylum seekers living in Coventry, had five children aged between four months and four years with them at the time of their arrest on Tuesday.

Social workers took the youngsters away and returned them to their families while the women were held at the police station.

They appeared at Coventry Magistrates Court the following day and admitted a charge of begging.

Each was fined 50 and later released. The immigration service has been informed of their crimes.

Insp Gary Herrington, of Coventry police’s city centre sector, said the arrests showed that action was being taken against anyone causing a nuisance by begging.

He said:

“Thanks to the partnership approach we are confident that the initial problem is under control.

“Various agencies who work with displaced people are working hard to bring the message to them that begging is not the way forward.”

He urged people who were pestered by beggars to be tolerant towards them and to contact police.

SEE: [20 MAR 00] POLICE ACT ON COVENTRY BEGGING PROBLEM
 

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CWN / Crimes, Fires & Accidents / West Midlands Police / 27 Mar 00

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