‘Only more police can solve Nag’s Head begging issue’

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nags head - Credit: Archant

Senior security officers at the Nag’s Head Centre have said a bigger police presence in the area is the only way to stop mounting anti-social behaviour.

Dovi Yebovi, 77, who has worked as head of security at the centre in Holloway Road for 13 years, said that begging and drinking were increasing, having an adverse effect on profits.

He said: “The regulars are known to all the customers. The minute people see them they turn their faces away and move on to other shops in Holloway Road. It’s bad for business. It certainly has an affect on profits.”

On Wednesday last week police enforced a 48-hour dispersal zone around Nag’s Head town centre in Holloway.

Police said the order was put in force after consultations with businesses in the area who reported a problem with aggressive begging.

A statement issued by Islington Police said: “A dispersal order was implemented from August 12 to 14, to ensure local people are kept safe from nuisance, such as aggressive begging and illegal street trading.”

Mr Yebovi said the consumption of alcohol in the premises was a greater issue.

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He said: “They come in and drink in the service area. There are three or five people with their dog. They are abusive, using bag language.

“We have shoplifters because security can’t cope with all these problems. The long and short of it is that I would like to see more police presence in the area. It would solve the problem considerably.”

Amang Sarr, 43, a security officer for the centre, who lives in Manor Park, said: “Aggressive begging is very common in the centre.

“We have people who keep on approaching others. That is intimidating.

“I support the dispersal zones as a temporary measure but after 48 hours they just come back again.”

Despite Mr Yebovi’s belief that anti-social behaviour is a mounting problem in the area, police said that there had been a trend for improvement.

Inspector Richard Padwell said: “This is a busy area with hundreds of shops, cafes and other businesses.

“Over the years, from time to time, issues have arisen and we have responded, working with partners, which have led to improvements.

“Police will continue to work with the Nag’s Head Town Centre Partnership to address concerns.”