Published on 21st March 2022
Paul McDougall, age 36 and of no fixed abode and with no connection to Cheltenham, has been given an injunction for persistent begging.
Mr McDougall failed to attend Gloucester County Court on 7 March 2022 and as a result, the injunction was issued in his absence.
Mr McDougall has been persistently begging in the town centre, sometimes aggressively, since arriving in Cheltenham in November 2021. Solace officers followed the ‘engage, support, enforce’ process, however, Mr McDougall continued to act in an anti-social manner with his behaviour consistently causing harassment, alarm and distress to members of the public.
Partner agencies tried to engage with Mr McDougall to support him return to Hereford where he has accommodation, however this was unsuccessful.
This order expires on 7 March 2023 at 4pm and comes with conditions:
Mr McDougall is banned from:
- Engaging in conduct which causes, or is capable of causing, alarm, harassment or distress to anyone in the boundary of Cheltenham;
- Begging in any public place or place to which the public have access in Cheltenham; this includes but is not limited to holding out any item, or leaving any item adjacent to him, for the purpose of collecting money.
Solace case officer, Lisa Jones, says: “Mr McDougall has refused any help and support from Solace and our partner agencies and has continued to persistently beg in the town centre. He was given numerous warnings and offers of help and support before we sought an injunction, however, this did not deter him.
“As a team, enforcement is not our first option and we treat it as being the very last stage of the process, however, if an individual persistently continues to cause harassment, alarm or distress with an impact such as Mr McDougall has had, then we have no viable option other than to seek formal legal intervention. We can confirm that offers of support will continue to be made to Mr McDougall.”
Anyone witnessing Mr McDougall breaching his conditions is advised to contact the police immediately on 101.
Anyone with concerns for a person who is rough sleeping should please report this through a Streetlink referral. This will go directly to an outreach team who will visit that person and assess their needs. Streetlink can be accessed online at: https://www.streetlink.org.uk/ or by phone on 0300 500 0914.
For media enquiries, contact: communications, telephone 01242 264231, email email@example.com.
Image single use only: