AGGRESSIVE begging has become a problem in Great Malvern, according to police.

They say they have served a Community Protection Notice on a man who has been reported to be begging in the town. Officers can give the notices to people behaving in an undesirable way in a bid to stop them from continuing.

A spokesman for the safer neighbourhood policing team said: “We have received reports describing individuals as ‘aggressively begging’ in the town. Members of the public reported that it was becoming intimidating for people who use Church Walk because they were repeatedly being asked for spare change.”

However, shopkeepers and a homeless man based in Church Walk told our reporter they didn't feel there was an issue.

A man, asking not to be identified, told us: “If a person begging was ever aggressive, they wouldn’t get given money, simple as that.

“People have given me money but I’ve never asked anyone for it. I think the report that you told me about probably comes from someone that has walked past at some point, turned their nose up at me, who doesn’t like a beggar sitting here and has then complained to the police.

Shop keeper Ross Wanklin, aged 38, of the Cloud Head shop on Church Walk, said: “I’ve not seen any aggressive begging in the area at all."

Another shop keeper based in Church Walk, said: “It’s quiet on Church Walk.

“Yes, there’s a man and sometimes a woman that sits with him over there but they don’t cause any issues to anyone.”

A police spokesman said officers “continually attempt to engage” with homeless people and signpost individuals to places which can support them.

He added: “We would advise the public to avoid giving sums of money directly to individuals, when there are local charities and organisations best placed to provide relevant support."