A prolific beggar who has a court order not to ask people for money has been jailed after being caught by plain-clothed neighbourhood officers.

Earl Allen, 52, was arrested on Thursday morning (May 9) after neighbourhood officers were on patrol in Peterborough city centre when they spotted Allen in Long Causeway.

He approached a woman who was sat on a bench and while the officers couldn’t hear what had been said, they saw the woman open her purse and hand Allen some money.

He was immediately stopped and arrested on suspicion of breaching a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) after being found with cash in his hand.

The two-year CBO was imposed in August 2022 after his prolific and sometimes aggressive behaviour around begging for money became a nuisance to members of the public.

It states he must not:

  • Approach any person with the intention of asking for money or any other object

  • Place or hold any item in front or near to himself in such a manner as to attract passers-by to place money in it

  • Cause any anti-social behaviour as defined by harassment, alarm or distress in a public place

Allen, of London Road, Fletton, appeared at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on Friday (May 10) where he was sentenced to four weeks in prison after admitting breaching a CBO.

The order, which was due to expire this summer, was extended for a year on April 26 after Allen was convicted of five breaches of the order, and handed a four-week suspended prison sentence.

PC Tom Maltby, from the City Centre Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “There have been countless interventions from both police and partner agencies to support Allen and deter his behaviour which is having an impact on our communities, primarily members of the public frequenting the city centre.

“He continues to breach the court order and cause a nuisance to the public which is why an application was put into the courts last month to have his CBO extended, which gives us greater powers to manage his offending while support agencies work with him.”

Anyone with information about Allen breaching the CBO should contact police via the online reporting form, web chat service or by calling 101.