A PERSISTENT, homeless beggar has been issued with an order banning him from certain parts of Malvern.

The order is designed to tackle the most serious and persistent offenders whose behaviour has brought them before a criminal court and it is designed to curb anti-social behaviour.

Andrew Lane, 36, of no fixed abode, failed to attend a hearing at Worcester Magistrates Court on Tuesday June 18, where the Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) was granted in his absence.

Lane is prevented from loitering in any place with the intention of begging, including doorways of shops or houses within the Malvern district.

The order makes specific reference for him to avoid Church Walk,which is a small pedestrian walkway off Church Street.

He is known to have frequented Church Walk, having received a police notice in April for “aggressive begging” in the walkway.

At the time he claimed it was a case of mistaken identity and the notice should have been issued by the police safer neighbourhood team to a beggar who was outside the Malvern Tourist Information Centre.

Lane could not identify the other beggar.

Lane said: "The police officer that wrongly gave me the notice owes me an apology.”

Members of the community came to his defence in April, including shopkeeper Ross Wanklin, aged 38, of the Cloud Head vape shop in Church Walk, who said: “I’ve not seen any aggressive begging outside my shop at all.”

“People don’t realise how easy it is to become homeless.”

Jai Teather, aged 42, who has also spent time living homeless due to mental health issues, added: "I met Andy about six weeks ago when I moved to the area.

“He’s always so nice and polite and when I gave him a cigarette, he saved half of it for his female partner who’s nice too.

“People don’t realise how easy it is to become homeless.”

Malvern's Safer Neighbourhood Team Inspector Tanya Beckett said: "Tackling anti-social behaviour in Malvern remains a priority for the Safer Neighbourhood Team and we continue to work closely with partner agencies to tackle it.

"We take all reports of anti-social behaviour seriously and the aim of a Criminal Behaviour Order is to protect the public while seeking to encourage local communities to become actively involved in reporting crime and anti-social behaviour to the police."

Breaching a CBO is an offence and could result in Lane being arrested if he fails to comply.