Beggar faces jail after 27 offences during 2012
A persistent beggar, who has been reported to police 27 times this year alone, has been given a three-year anti-social behaviour order which means she faces prison if caught offending in Bath again.
Nicola Boskovic, 41, of Lympsham Green, in Odd Down, appeared in Bath Magistrates' Court after police made an application for her to be banned from begging or asking people for money in the city centre.
The court accepted that she was a regular beggar, who had 14 convictions for the offence since 2004, and that members of the public had regularly made complaints about her.
Tim Harris, Bath police's anti-social behaviour manager, said the force had no choice but to apply for an Asbo because every other effort had failed.
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He said: "The persistence of Boskovic's conduct, together with her failure to change following arrest and punishment, have determined it is necessary to prevent her from begging in a public place.
"The prohibition is necessary to protect members of the public. Any breaches of the Asbo will be a criminal matter, and may result in a prison sentence."
He added: "Asbos in Bath have proved to be an effective response to those persistent offenders and this is the latest of a number of similar orders granted."
Bath and north east Somerset district commander Chief Superintendent Geoff Spicer welcomed the order and said his officers would be on the look-out for any attempts to breach it.
He said: "We will continue to work to ensure that Bath is a pleasant and safe place to live, work, and visit. This sort of anti-social behaviour will attract a robust approach from the police.
"Boscovic has shown complete contempt for the impact she has had on people in Bath, and those who visit this wonderful city. Any future breaches of this order will be rigorously enforced by my officers."