‘Aggressive’ Apsley beggar could face jail

Joshua Owen could be jailed if he tries to get money from people
Joshua Owen could be jailed if he tries to get money from people

An ‘aggressive’ beggar has been issued with a criminal behaviour order (CBO) after complaints from members of the public in Dacorum.

Since April 2017 police have received several calls regarding the behaviour of 39-year-old Joshua Owen, from London Road, Apsley.

He had previously been issued with a Community Protection Notice (CPN) instructing him to stop his behaviour, but the notice was subsequently breached.

As a result, Owen was convicted at court on Tuesday, May 1 of failing to comply with his CPN, as well as theft, receiving stolen goods, going equipped to steal and two counts of fraud.

The local Community Safety Unit subsequently applied for the community behaviour order, which was granted by the magistrates.

CBOs replace Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) and Drinking Banning Orders on conviction, and are issued by a criminal court to tackle the most persistent anti-social individuals who are also engaged in criminal activity.

As part of the two-year order Owen must not approach any member of the public in order to solicit money within Hertfordshire. If he does not comply with the order, he could be sent to prison.

Sergeant Mike Saunders, who is from the Dacorum and St Albans Community Safety Unit, said: “Joshua Owen is a persistent offender whose actions have had a detrimental effect on the local community.

“When approaching members of the public for money he often behaves in an aggressive manner when cash is not handed over to him.

“I urge anyone who is approached by him not to give him money and to report the incident to police by calling Hertfordshire Constabulary’s non-emergency number 101 so that any breaches can be dealt with.

Information can also be reported online via our website.”