A BEGGAR from Baildon who harassed members of the public for money in Shipley has been given a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO).

Martin Derby, aged 29, who gave a residential address when he appeared before magistrates in Bradford on Wednesday, admitted begging in Bingley Road, Shipley on October 6 last year.

He also admitted two charges of breaching an order which was put in place after complaints were received from people in Shipley and Saltaire about him harassing members of the public for money.

Derby has now been made subject of a five-year order which prohibits him from sitting or loitering and using articles which may give the impression that he is homeless on any public thoroughfare in Bradford District and from asking people for money or goods in Bradford District, unless it is part of a contract of employment, a legitimate benefit claim, a retail purchase or a banking transaction.

If he breaches the terms of his order he could be sent to prison.

Inspector Julie Deacon, who leads the Shipley Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Derby was well known to place himself outside retail premises, and despite having a residential address, chose to sleep rough to give people the impression that he was homeless.

“I hope this order will encourage him to seek assistance with his issues, which clearly caused concerns among the public and the retail sector in Shipley and Saltaire.

“I also hope it demonstrates that we listen to these concerns and will work with partners to use whatever legislation we can to take action against those who blight our communities through crime and anti-social behaviour.”

Steve Hartley, Bradford Council’s strategic director with responsibility for neighbourhoods and community safety, said: “We appreciate the efforts of the police in dealing with this case and we will continue to co-operate with them to tackle anti-social behaviour and to encourage individuals to seek help with the problems they face.”

Last weekend Shipley Neighbourhood Policing Team had issued five dispersal orders to aggressive beggars in Saltaire and Shipley but by that night, two had breached the orders.

Shipley MP Philip Davies said the conviction was good news. “Aggressive begging is certainly an issue in Shipley which intimidates shoppers, particularly elderly people and deters people from coming into the town centre which then damages all shops and businesses. It is an issue I have raised in the House of Commons,” he said.

“I very much welcome this conviction and hope that Bradford Council and West Yorkshire Police do everything they can to tackle it.”