Wales

Aberystwyth begging scam 'exploiting' kindness, police say

Aberystwyth Image copyright Ian Capper / Geograph
Image caption A police officer says he is proud to live in a town where people help each other

A begging scam is exploiting the kindness of strangers, police say.

A group of men and women of Romanian descent, aged between 30 and 50, have been travelling to Aberystwyth in Ceredigion by bus or train from Cardiff, Dyfed-Powys Police said.

PC Phil Woodland said officers had tried working with the group and "it's become clear they are not genuinely homeless".

Residents and visitors have donated believing they are in need.

Some members of the group had been served with community protection orders and if those are breached they could face arrest.

'Scamming people'

"I'm proud to work in a town where people want to help each other, but in this case their kindness is being exploited," PC Woodland said.

"We've tried working with the group to ensure they have the support they need, and through this effort it's become clear they are not genuinely homeless.

"We are using legal powers where possible and necessary to deal with the issue.

"Giving money to someone who is begging is a personal choice, however, on this occasion the community is being misled.

"At the end of the day, these people are returning to their homes - they are essentially scamming people."

The situation is being monitored by the neighbourhood policing team and anyone with information is asked to come forward.

Concerns about someone sleeping rough can be reported via StreetLink.

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