Violent Archway attacks ‘down to increased begging’
A rise in begging in Archway has been blamed for a spate of aggresive incidents – including an attack on a Tube worker – as a new campaign is launched to tackle the problem.
Islington Council says several recent cases of anti-social and violent behaviour are down to an increase in begging near the Tube station.
In two of the worst, a street drinker is accused of punching an Underground worker and a PCSO in separate attacks.
There have also been complaints of someone repeatedly harassing people in Archway Library and a woman going into a cafe to shout at staff.
The council has teamed up with Islington Police, the Archway Town Centre Management Team and homelessness charity The Pilion Trust to try to reach out to help these people.
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Cllr Paul Convery, the council’s executive member for community safety, said: “Our teams will offer help and support to beggars and work with police to tackle aggressive behaviour, which is unacceptable.”
However, Archway market manager Stephanie Smith said it is more “the demanding behaviour of endless streams of charity collectors” who have made the station a “no go area” for many.
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She also said the government was responsible for any increase in begging.
“I think the situation can only get worse as this government strips more from people who already have nothing,” she said.
The council and police are urging people in Archway to avoid giving money to beggars and to report anti-social behaviour.
Insp Clare Messer, who oversees the Safer Neighbourhoods teams in north Islington, including Archway’s, said: “Support services and joint patrols are in place. Police will take action against aggressive begging, anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.”
To report incidents of begging, residents can call 101 or contact the council on 020 7527 7272 or at www.islington.gov.uk/reportasb