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'Nuisance' homeless man banned from begging across Cornwall

By WBJLock  |  Posted: January 28, 2014

John Upton.

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A homeless man who repeatedly makes a nuisance of himself by going to shops and demanding food and drink has been given a three year Anti Social Behaviour Order by West Cornwall Magistrates court.

The joint application on January 22 by Cornwall Council’s Anti Social Behaviour Team and Devon and Cornwall Police, prevents John Upton, 51, from entering Truro, Newquay and Camborne town centres and a multitude of commercial properties, restaurants and public houses.

He is also banned from approaching anyone for the purpose of begging and from using any language or behaviour that would cause distress, annoyance or nuisance to members of the public.

Natasha Mathews from Cornwall Council’s Anti Social Behaviour Team stated: "Upton is a transient male who has been causing problems throughout Cornwall. Following his arrival in Truro in September, within a three week period, police received nearly 30 calls from members of the public due to his intimidating behaviour. Upton then made his way to Newquay and Camborne causing similar problems on his travels."

PC Shane Tangye, Truro Neighbourhood Team added: "Upton has been a persistent pest and concern to many people within Truro and those visiting the area. Police quickly became aware of Upton’s presence after his behaviour led to numerous calls from food outlets, all reporting similar anti social behaviour."

PC Tangye also stated: "Upton’s behaviour spread like ‘Wildfire’. I have never known a person to cause so many problems within such a short space of time."

The Anti Social Behaviour Order was used as last resort to protect members of the public and to curb Upton’s behaviour.

PC Martyn Horton, from Camborne Neighbourhood Team, said: "We were well aware of Upton as a transient male who had been causing problems in Truro. Following his arrival in Camborne, we promptly looked to engage with him, and offer him support.

"However, these interventions proved fruitless and it was clear that the public should be protected from his increasing incidents of anti-social behaviour. The ASBO will give him clear boundaries and consequences if he does breach the order."

Dorian Thomas, Anti Social Behaviour Caseworker for Camborne, said: "This case proves the importance of partnership working between the police, Cornwall Council and local communities. By acting jointly we can ensure that transient individuals who are a nuisance in one area cannot just move to another area and continue to behave anti-socially."

It is hoped this ASBO will send a message to those who choose to engage in anti-social behaviour that it will not be tolerated and enforcement action will be taken.

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