A council leader has urged people not to give money to beggars.
Coun Alistair Bradley, leader of Chorley Council, says five people have been begging in Chorley town centre in recent months – when previously there had been none.
“We are asking residents, business owners and market traders, ‘Please do not give them money’.”Coun Alistair Bradley
But he says they may not actually be homeless.
Coun Bradley said: “Our officers have been out to them each time to offer support and accommodation and in most instances they are not homeless, they already have accommodation and some have refused support.
“The majority are from other towns and cities where they do have accommodation.
“It appears that most are begging not from need, but purely for financial gain.”
Coun Bradley is encouraging people not to give money to those who are begging in Chorley town centre.
He said: “We are asking residents, business owners and market traders, ‘Please do not give them money’.
“We can understand that people are concerned about their welfare, but giving them money is not the answer and it may encourage others to come here.”
Coun Bradley said the council does a lot of work to prevent people becoming homeless and help is available to people who genuinely have nowhere to go.
He highlighted work done by the council, such as providing temporary supported accomodation, and voluntary organisations such as Chorley Help The Homeless.
He said: “We have the ability to house homeless people. We have Cotswold House, which is a first-class facility, and other alternative accommodation for people in different situations. These people have been offered housing.”
People concerned about the welfare of a homeless person can call the council on 01257 515151 or go to www.streetlink.org.uk.