Shop assistant watched beggars in town centre for days – and is worried for the public

Shop assistant watched beggars in town centre for days – and is worried for the public

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A shop assistant watched beggars for days and warned shoppers after he and his colleagues noticed some strange movements in a town centre.

Jake Morris, 26, monitored the street through the windows of Carphone Warehouse in Cheltenham.

He says he believes there is a gang operating in the town behind the beggars, Gloucestershire Live reports.

“Somebody appeared with a sleeping bag and a sign saying “I am very hungry, God Bless You,” Jake said.

“Then I saw about four other people with exactly the same sign in exactly the same handwriting around town so I became suspicious.

“I decided to watch through the window of the shop and and keep an eye out.

Jake monitored the beggars for days (stock photo)

“The person I saw couldn’t have been very hungry because people were giving them sandwiches and sausage rolls and they were putting them in a bag rather than eating them.

“They might have been saving them for later but you would expect somebody who is homeless and starving to eat them straight away.

“There was another chap coming around to collect money from the begging pot and put it in a bag. They had nice jackets and iPhones and several times people gave them £10 notes.

“I’m sure they were part of a group. An average person would look at them and think they were genuine, but if you watch them for long enough you see all the holes.”

He said he wants to warn the public because he does not like to see his customers “scammed”.

Jake added officers from Cheltenham Borough Council cleared the town centre one day but the beggars came back the following day.

After monitoring the situation, Jake believe there is a gang operating in the town (stock photo)

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“We were really irritated because we had time to see what they were doing,” he added.

“I hate the idea of our customers or anyone coming into town being scammed by people.”

Yvonne Hope, head of public protection at Cheltenham Borough Council, said: “We are aware of this situation and are working with our partners such as the police to monitor and investigate all alleged street begging.

“Anyone with information about these people setting up camps around the town should report it to us via our SOLACE team.

“We also work closely with StreetLink  to assist individuals and rough sleepers. If anyone has concerns about a rough sleeper they should contact StreetLink in the first instance with as much information as possible.”

StreetLink enables members of the public to connect people sleeping rough with the local services that can support them.

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