Police chiefs look at begging issue in Sheffield city centre

Fargate in Sheffield city centre
Fargate in Sheffield city centre

Police chiefs are looking at the issue of street begging in Sheffield city centre.

South Yorkshire Police has asked city centre residents for details of the areas worst affected by beggars.

Bosses also want examples of experiences of begging, concerns people have and whether it affects the way they feel about the city centre.

The police force has contacted the Sheffield City Centre Residents Action Group about the begging issue.

A spokesman said: "SCCRAG has been asked by South Yorkshire Police to invite comments from people involved in the city centre to enable us to draw up witness statements on how you are affected by street begging.

"Your perceptions, experiences, misgivings, concerns, feelings of apprehension or level of support - any personal views you have on how the presence of beggars influences your time spent in the centre of Sheffield and any views on how begging impacts on your business, if you run one.

"The questions to invite comments from are the perceived extent of the begging issue - how long it has persisted, any hot spots, patterns of activity, for example a notable increase in begging near the cash machines during the night time economy, or a notable pattern of behaviour linked to other anti-social behaviour.

"The impact on citizens, as residents and businesses - if you have examples to quote, that will be helpful.

"How begging makes you feel about the city centre, those begging and whether it personally impacts on your feelings.

"The perceived level of response by the relevant authorities, and comments on the capability of the authorities, or the success of the response, or not.

SCCRAG is a forum for residents to raise issues affecting life in the city centre.

The group meets once a month.

South Yorkshire Police has been approached for a comment.