A persistent beggar has been banned from begging anywhere in Nottingham for the next three years following numerous complaints about his abusive and threatening behaviour.
Nathan Jackson, aged 27, of no fixed abode, has been a regular sight on the streets of the city centre since 2015, approaching passers-by for cash. These incidents have happened on the streets, in Nottingham Station and on the NET tram network.
Jackson also slept in doorways of city centre businesses after making himself homeless and disengaging with outreach services and would refuse to move when staff or customers needed access. Uniformed officers from Nottinghamshire Police and the City Council were frequently called to remove him, only to be verbally abused and threatened by him. This behaviour led to numerous complaints being made to the Police and City Council by disgruntled members of the public and staff of the affected businesses.
Both British Transport Police and NET officials also received complaints about his behaviour exhibited on their platforms and property, particularly his rough sleeping on tram platforms, begging on the trams and abusive, threatening behaviour towards railway station and tram staff.
In one of the latest incidents, Jackson was ejected from Nottingham Station in the early hours of January 11 this year due to it being closed to the public, when he became verbally abusive and threatened a member of the station’s security staff, leading to his arrest by British Transport Police.
Another incident the following month involved Jackson verbally abusing a member of NET staff at the Station Street tram platform, leading to Nottingham City Council’s Community Protection Department investigating this incident and complaints of his begging, non-payment of tram fares and rough sleeping affecting passengers and staff.
This resulted in Community Protection obtaining an emergency Civil Injunction in April to protect staff from his threatening and abusive behaviour.
Efforts to engage with Jackson by Nottingham City Council and Framework staff continued to be made for him to address his homeless lifestyle and evident substance misuse. All offers of help and support were refused by him, often aggressively and on occasions Jackson openly stated he did not want to be accommodated and admitted to begging to support his heavy Class A drug use.
Reports of his aggressive behaviour continued to be made by shop staff both within the city centre and at Castle Marina Retail Park, due to his refusal to leave when found asleep on the premises or in their doorways. Jackson would remain in doorways while businesses were open for trade, blocking access or in the case of various fast food restaurants, remaining at a table asleep during the day and verbally abusing anyone who tried to engage with him.
Incidents of his begging in the city centre and on trams continued, resulting in his arrest and subsequent appearance in court for numerous begging and public order offences.
On Wednesday 26 April, Jackson appeared at Nottingham Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to a public order offence, a separate racially aggravated public order offence and four charges of begging in a public place, all relating to his offending at Nottingham Station and in the city centre.
He received a 12 month Community Order, with a 12 month Drug Rehabilitation Requirement and a ten-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement to address his substance misuse and homeless lifestyle. A one day Court Detention served overnight was also issued.
He also received a three-year Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) prohibiting his begging anywhere in the City of Nottingham, entry into the Castle Marina Retail Park and Nottingham Station and blocking access to any business, property or pavement requiring access in the city.
The CBO followed on from the previous Civil Injunction preventing him from travelling on any NET tram without a valid ticket, begging on any tram or platform and from verbally abusing or threatening tram staff.
Portfolio Holder for Community Services, Councillor Nicola Heaton, said: “Jackson has refused all offers of help to address his offending, drug use and homelessness and in the meantime has continued to behave unacceptably towards the public, train and tram staff and enforcement officers. This order banning him from begging in Nottingham offers protection to the public from his persistent offences and abusive and threatening behaviour.
“We expect him to comply with the Order and hope he will seek to address his offending behaviour by addressing its root causes through engagement with the rehabilitation activity handed down by the court.”