Man sentenced after repeatedly breaching Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction
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A man who repeatedly breached his Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction has been sent to prison following a recent court appearance.
26-year-old Luke Flint was sentenced to 59 days in prison after appearing at court on 12 May for frequent breaches of the order which prevents him from begging on the streets of Cheltenham.
The Judge came to this decision after hearing how Flint had been begging and causing anti-social behaviour in and around Cheltenham for over a year and was originally issued with an anti-social behaviour injunction by a court in February 2020 after an application was made by Solace.
When Solace first became aware of Flint’s begging and rough sleeping in the town, officers engaged with him and made multiple referrals to partner agencies. These referrals were to seek supported accommodation for him as well as support for his substance misuse.
A large period of time was given to allow Flint to take up these offers of support and to meaningfully engage with them. All partner agencies also spent a great deal of time trying to contact him about the support and accommodation.
Despite some engagement, Flint’s anti-social behaviour continued and resulted in Solace applying to court for the injunction. This order came with conditions and an exclusion zone of Cheltenham town centre.
After this order was made Flint’s anti-social behaviour continued in the town centre as well as in his accommodation, resulting in him being evicted due to this and the risk he posed to others and staff. During this time, he was still not engaging with agencies who could support him with some of his more complex needs.
Flint began rough sleeping on the Bath Road and begging in the area. Despite many offers of accommodation and assistance, he was choosing to beg and sleep rough making hundreds of pounds from begging.
Solace, the Cheltenham Neighbourhood Policing Team and partner agencies submitted information after Flint breached his order 13 times over a two week period and the order has now been extended until February 2022.
Solace Team Leader Louise Boyle says: “Mr Flint has continually begged for money across a large part of Cheltenham informing people he was in need of this for food or a bed, but this may not have always been what he was using the money for. He has been offered an enormous amount of support as well as accommodation over the last year.
“He has been offered countless opportunities to address his complex support needs, but has not engaged to a full extent. Many partner agencies from all angles have offered Mr Flint every opportunity of support that they have available to them, asked for multiple chances on his behalf with other organisations, yet he maintains his anti-social behaviour resulting in breaching his injunction.
"Flint has been offered all the help and support that agencies can give him, but has refused to take it. He does not appear to be willing to change his behaviour at this time.
“We would like to thank members of the public for their support of Luke, but we would ask in the future if people did see anyone they were concerned for to be sat out or rough sleeping that they may wish to buy the person food or a drink or perhaps make a donation to a homeless charity.
"In Gloucestershire as whole we are fortunate enough to have multiple supported accommodation projects and these provide a safe environment for people who have more complex needs.
“We would always ask that if anyone is concerned for a person rough sleeping that they complete a Street link referral. This will go directly to an outreach team who will then come out to see that person and make an assessment of their needs. Street link can be accessed online at: https://www.streetlink.org.uk/ or on the phone on 0300 500 0914.”