A MAN has been banned from begging for money in Hereford city centre after he was caught breaching a court order.

Paul Leslie McDougall, 34, of no fixed address, was handed a three year criminal behaviour order after he was convicted of failing to comply with a community protection notice on December 12.

A police spokesperson said the order was granted after an application by Herefordshire police as a result of McDougall’s continual and persistent anti-social behaviour in Hereford city centre.

"This behaviour involved him placing himself on the ground at various locations including shop doorways, near to cashpoint machines and at building fire exits with the intention of asking for, sometimes demanding, money from members of the public," the spokesperson said.

"As a consequence McDougall was causing many members of the public alarm, distress or harassment.

"Despite many words of advice and formal interventions by the police, McDougall persisted in his behaviour which ultimately resulted in him being prosecuted for breaching a community protection notice and eventually receiving a CBO.

"This order prohibits him from asking people for money within specified areas of the city centre for a period of three years, and requires him to engage with and co-operate with drug and alcohol service Addaction to address his addictions.

Jim Mooney, Herefordshire police community safety coordinator, said: "Paul McDougall has been offered help and assistance for a number of years.

"His behaviour in the city centre has been persistently anti-social and has greatly affected local businesses and members of the public who have been prevented from going about their daily tasks without the fear of being harassed, alarmed or distressed.

“The public are encouraged not to give money to people who appear to be begging as for some it only feeds their drug and alcohol addiction. We would advise you to instead make any monetary donations through the ‘Give Wisely’ app, which is advertised throughout the city centre.

“The public are encouraged to report any breaches of this order to the police by reporting on our website.”

McDougall is banned from begging or asking for money at any location and specifically, Widemarsh Street, High Town, High Street, Eign gate, All Saints Street, Victoria Street underpass, Capuchin Lane, Church Street, Hereford Cathedral and the surrounding area, and the Old Market Shopping Complex.