Police to clear beggars from Bolton town centre as council invests £1 million in improving area
BEGGARS are to be moved on from the town centre to make way for a £1 million revamp.
Bolton Council will inject new life into Newport Street as part of a £9 million scheme aimed at transforming the town into a “hub” for Greater Manchester.
Police say they will get tough on crimes including begging, drinking in the street and bag thefts.
Insp Andy Sidebotham, from Bolton Central Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “The area is about to have a huge amount of regeneration but it is important that in the meantime we reduce the crime in Newport Street. We are working closely with the council and local businesses to make them aware of the issues and involve them in the policing of Newport Street.
“My plea is to the public, if you witness anti-social behaviour or begging please let us know. Don’t encourage begging.
“There are charities that can help beggars. Often people are funding drug and alcohol dependency by giving them money.
“We are working with local charities to support them and clear our streets of begging.”
Plans to transform the street into a European-style boulevard, with a cinema, offices, homes, cafes and restaurants are in the pipeline.
Work is expected to start in autumn next year and finish in 2015.
Insp Sidebotham said police were also working with car park operator NCP’s CCTV control room.
A council spokesman said: “We recently announced £1 million investment to transform Newport Street as part of a wider town centre improvement strategy totalling around £9 million.
“The intention is to redesign this gateway into Bolton and make it more aesthetically pleasing, so any work carried out by the police to assist us in achieving a better environment is welcome.”
Insp Sidebotham said patrols have been upped and posters will be issued to businesses to remind shoppers not to support beggars.
Police are encouraging people to always be security conscious, regardless of where they are in the town centre.
Shoppers are advised to carry their handbags zipped up in front of them and to keep their purses near to the front of them to deter thieves.
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