'Polite' Chesterfield beggar gives man change so he can buy parking ticket
A man has thanked a 'polite' beggar who gave him 30p so he could buy a parking ticket in Chesterfield.
On Wednesday, the Derbyshire Times reported on concerns being expressed about people asking for money at the town's Donut car park.
Following on from that report, Neil Burton got in touch with us to say: "I parked in the Donut on Sunday for the vegan market and went to the machine to pay but I was 30p short.
"The lad sat at the ticket machine politely asked me if he could help.
"I said I was 30p short so he gave me the 30p and wished me a good day."
It is an offence to beg in a public place and the beggar can be arrested for committing such an offence and face a fine of up to £1,000.
Inspector Dave Nicholls, who is in charge of policing for the Chesterfield area, said: "We are aware of concerns about individuals sitting close to the pay machines at the Donut car park, and our officers will respond to reports when we get them.
"We can and do ask people to move from the machines, which they usually will do, but often return later.
"We will take action and will look to prosecute individuals for begging where we have evidence which would include our officers having to witness a person asking for money, or for a victim to report it to us, provide a statement and be willing to go to court if necessary.
"We understand it is quite a sensitive issue, and the thought of going to court can be quite a daunting prospect, but the issue does continue and so we are working with partnership agencies to look at ways in which we can prevent this from happening in the long term."
Councillor Tricia Gilby, Chesterfield Borough Council's leader, added: "We take the safety of our residents and visitors very seriously.
"Begging at cash machines and payments machines is covered by the Chesterfield town centre Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) and the council works closely with the police to monitor and carry out appropriate enforcement activity.
"If anyone sees begging at cash machines or payment machines in the town centre, they can report it at https://secure.chesterfield.gov.uk/forms/?townpspo or with the police using the non-emergency 101 number."