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Increased levels in begging on the streets of Kilkenny City is causing concern both for the public and the gardaí.
In recent weeks the numbers of people begging has dramatically increased.
A garda spokesman confirmed that they were aware of a recent increase in begging activity in the city and were proactively addressing same.
A man in his fifties was arrested last Thursday and charged with an offence of obstructing the passage of persons. The man was taken in custody and appeared in court and was convicted and sentenced to five days in prison.
Superintendent Derek Hughes commenting on the conviction appealed to the public to report all instances of obstruction of persons or vehicles or any harassment, intimidation, assault or threats committed by any person engaged in begging.
The Superintendent added that gardaí have a zero tolerance approach to such offences as with any other form of anti-social behaviour or public disorder in the city.
Meanwhile Cllr Andrew McGuinness said that he has received complaints from people who say they believe that a new wave of people begging on the streets in Kilkenny are part of an organised group who operate on the guidance of one individual. He said that the public had concerns in relation to the recent surge in begging adding that such behaviour created stigma for genuine people in need.