Begging gang targeting Cambridge city centre
There are concerns that students are specifically being targeted
A group of beggars have been caught engaging in a ‘begging gang’ in the centre of Cambridge, The Metro has reported.
Yesterday morning, the group were photographed leaving a VW Passat estate car, which was Romania-registered. They then moved to the shopping centres around Cambridge, where they split up to ask passers-by for money.
A witness of the events told The Metro that the group paid parking for the maximum time allowed – from 9am until 6pm.
In the light of recent events, Cambridge students and locals have been encouraged to help the homeless, either personally or by donating to charities such as Jimmy’s or Cambridge Street Aid.
However, locals are reportedly of the opinion that the group in question are not even homeless. One local said she “saw the group getting out of their car earlier this week, most days in fact.”
She also revealed that she had “never thought they were homeless” as they had been spotted getting out of the car and waiting around.
Other locals, who have had enough of the group, have questioned whether the one who professes to be disabled really requires a walking stick. MailOnline has revealed that one denied being able to speak English, claiming Italian origin.
Students who may be looking to help the homeless are reportedly being targeted, according to Lisa Jay from the British Red Cross: “they bark at the kids – it’s easy to prey on them.”
This was confirmed by Inspector Nick Shipworth, who says that there is an awareness that “not all those who beg are homeless, and not all homeless people beg,” but that they also knew that “targets other cities.”
The Inspector does, however, intend to take action, calling the “organised activity” a “priority.”