Man pretended to be homeless

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A man was arrested in Stamford High Street on Monday after duping members of the public into thinking he was homeless.

Stamford officers discovered that the man lived at an address in Leicestershire with his mother and was travelling to Stamford every day by train.

The man was arrested under the Vagrancy Act of 1824, which makes it an offence to sleep rough or beg, and then released with a caution.

Police say he had been begging in Stamford every day for a month and believe he had made about £50 per day.

Police approached the man several times in the weeks leading up to the arrest to signpost him to support for homeless people provided by South Kesteven District Council and the P3 charity, which helps homeless people.

They became suspicious when the man did not accept the offers of support. Officers discovered the man was not really homeless by working with South Kesteven District Council and the British Transport Police

Ian Martin, community policing inspector for Stamford, Bourne and the Deeping, said: “He was checked and it was discovered that he lived with his mother in Leicestershire.

“He came here in the morning to make some money for doing nothing.

“Members of the public shouldn’t always take things on face value. People need to be mindful that not all people are homeless.

“We have people who are really homeless and vulnerable.

“It is a really sad state of affairs and we can help homeless people.

“His fraudulent actions are giving people a bad name in regards to homelessness.

“He was given a caution, it is the first stage of a criminal record.”

Inspector Martin said when police had tried to help the man, passers-by had accused police of harassing him.

Insp Martin said: “What was really sad was that members of the public were having a pop at PCSOs and police officers.”

If you see a beggar you believe is not homeless call 101.