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Elderly woman given ASBO for begging in Cardiff city centre

Agripina Gheorge, 74, has been given an ASBO banning her from begging in Cardiff

A 74-year-old woman has been handed an ASBO banning her from begging in Cardiff city centre.

Agripina Gheorge, of no fixed address, was made the subject of the order at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court to protect the public from her anti-social behaviour.

Police said complaints were made after she approached members of the public and shopkeepers on a daily basis begging for money. She would often hand out a note stating that the money was to buy nappies and milk for her babies.

The three-year order bans her from begging anywhere within the city and county of Cardiff and also entering the city centre between 8am and 8pm.

If she breaches the order she could be imprisoned for five years, fined, or both.

Acting Sergeant Geraint White of South Wales Police said:

“This is the fourth anti social behaviour order the city centre policing team have obtained in recent months as we continue to ensure that those visiting, working or living in the city centre can do so free from being harassed by beggars.

“Those made subject of ASBOs have been provided with opportunities to engage with services that can help but unfortunately they have continued to beg.

“Anti-social behaviour orders give individuals an opportunity to abide by the conditions and to change their behaviour.”

Councillor Judith Woodman said:

“People have the right to go about their business in Cardiff city centre without being harassed in this distressing manner.

“Cardiff has a vibrant city centre to be proud of and attracts significant amounts of visitors every year.

“It is unacceptable for people to behave in this manner and I’m pleased a partnership approach involving Cardiff Council, South Wales Police and the CPS has led to this individual being banned from begging and entering the city centre at times when she can become a nuisance to others.”

Police urge the public to report all incidents of anti-social behaviour and contact the police on 101 if they believe the terms of an ASBO are being broken.

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Discussion

6 thoughts on “Elderly woman given ASBO for begging in Cardiff city centre

  1. I am, horrified that Cardiff council has started a war on beggars in Cardiff. It has been widely recognised that ASBOs are expensive and don’t work. Tackling begging in this clumsy, ham-fisted fashion favours one side over the other and does far more harm than good. Not a world away from the mob justice of the medieval stocks as Shami Chakrabarti (director Liberty) has said. What in the past would have been managed as a health-care problem is now being redefined as problems of anti-social behaviour making an elderly woman considered anti-social rather than needy.

    Two thirds of those described as being involved in ASB have some form of vulnerability. Police should be given improved training on how to deal sensitively and appropriately with people suffering from mental illness.

    ASBOs fuel public anxiety. Research for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that only 20% of adults think tough action against people accused of antisocial behaviour is a good way of solving the problem. Lets us have a evidence based public debate about this Cllr Woodman.

    Read More http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2011/08/30/elderly-beggar-banned-from-cardiff-s-city-centre-streets-91466-29327231/#sitelife-commentsWidget-bottom#ixzz1WVqPUpsw

    Posted by Anne Greagsby | August 30, 2011, 12:58 pm
  2. This is disgusting, of all the people that harrass you walking down queen’s street, she is one of the least offensive. The charity muggers, god bothers, paintballers and dozens of other salespeople should have got an ASBO first!

    Geraint White and Judith Woodman should be ashamed of themselves!

    Posted by Steffan Lewis | August 30, 2011, 1:05 pm
  3. Surely as she is homeless, the ‘threat’ of giving her a warm place to sleep, and steady daily meals is going to make her do it even more. And I would understand why.

    Posted by Evan Hart (@EvanHart88) | August 30, 2011, 1:06 pm
  4. I’ve seen this woman several times in the city. She does pester people but she’s not offensive, rude nor intimidating.
    She is clearly homeless and just trying to get by. As said in other comments, There are lots of people doing the same all the way through the city. Such as people trying to ram religion down your throat when your trying to shop. It’s not on! shes 74 for goodness sake.

    Posted by Luke | August 30, 2011, 4:19 pm
    • I would like to point out here that even though it says she is of no fixed abode, she actually lives in a house in Newport, but is not registered as living there.
      Also, she is not just a nuisance in terms of begging alone – I work in a cafe, where she regularly comes in and has often urinated and defecated on the floor of our toilets (and this is not just down to her being an elderly woman as she has come out and laughed at members of staff after doing so, knowing we would have to clean it up), has BITTEN and groped members of staff and spits at them, as well as throwing rubbish onto the floor. She has tried to hit me in the past when I have – very politely might I add – asked her to leave our customers alone as it is illegal to beg in a shop. It is not a disgrace at all, she completely deserves the ASBO, and any consequences should she breach it. She HAS been offered help in the past (which is also mentioned in the article), but it has made no difference! She was a constant nuisance in our cafe and if it were anyone else you would expect them to be treated the same way she has!

      Posted by cafeworker | September 10, 2011, 2:16 pm

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