A prolific beggar has been banned from approaching people for money anywhere in Medway.

Lee Swift, 43, of High Street, Chatham, was issued with a Criminal Behaviour Order following numerous complaints from business owners and members of the public about the nuisance he was causing.

The order, which was granted by magistrates on Wednesday 9 March 2022, lasts for five years and prohibits Swift from:

• Loitering or remaining in High Street, Chatham, when asked to leave by a police officer, police community support officer or community safety officer;

• Approaching any unknown person anywhere in Medway to ask for money;

• Sitting on the floor or remaining outside any shop in Medway;

• Entering any premises from which he has already been banned or excluded;

• Leaving his belongings in any public space.

Should Swift breach any of the restrictions then he risks being arrested and sent to prison.

Kent Police successfully applied for the Criminal Behaviour Order after Swift pleaded guilty to stealing £100 cash from an ATM in High StreetChatham, which the person the money belonged to did not realise had been dispensed from the machine.

He was also issued with a 12-month community order and instructed to pay the victim back.

Self-destructive

District Commander for Medway, Chief Inspector Shona Lowndes said: ‘We have repeatedly tried to engage with Lee Swift over a significant period of time but he has been completely unwilling to change his ways or address his own personal issues that have led to this self-destructive cycle.

‘A Criminal Behaviour Order is only ever issued as a last resort and when we can demonstrate to a court that a person’s actions are having a detrimental impact on local people, which Swift’s most certainly have been.

‘The restrictions imposed on him are very strict and represent a positive outcome for the community here in Medway. Should Swift continue to behave in an unacceptable manner then he risks finding himself behind bars.’

By Ed

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