Anger at three-year-old beggars

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Mathew Street by day

Members of the public have reacted angrily after children as young as three were sent out begging on Mathew Street late at night.

The young children, alone with no adults in sight, have been wearing Halloween masks and disguising the begging as ‘trick or treating’.

Parents have allegedly been dropping their children off in their cars and waiting for them to return with cash from drinkers.

CCTV is being used to help police identify any of the children or adults involved.

Bars and pubs in the area have been instructed to contact police if any similar incidents occur, especially in the run up to Halloween.

Children entering pubs for money is classed as anti-social behaviour and can cause pubs to lose their license for allowing them onto their premises. Social services have also been put on alert.

Jasmine Mallon, a 22-year-old student from Liverpool who witnessed an incident herself, said: “We went to the pub, we had a couple of drinks, and there were these people outside. They kept sending these kids in with masks on and stuff and they were only young.

“The people that work there were shoo-ing them out because they were coming round asking for money.”

She added: “They sent this one boy in, he was the last one to come in, and he was about four. He looked so sad.

“They push them through the door and then walk off round the corner and leave them. Then the staff are coming over and pushing them out and then they’re standing outside on their own.”

Steve Roland, 54, occasionally drinks around Mathew Street and told JMU Journalism: “I see it every year.”

 

About Sophie Marsden, JMU Journalism