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Begging arrests in Brighton and Hove rise
Beggars attracted by summer crowds are flooding city streets before the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee.
Rough sleepers claim they can make up to £20 an hour asking passers-by for money.
Between April 2011 and March 2012, 62 beggars were arrested in Brighton and Hove – more than double the 25 arrested the year before.
Sarah, a 24-year-old beggar operating in Western Road, Brighton, claimed many new arrivals had come from across the region and the country to beg on Brighton’s streets.
Sarah, not her real name, said: “I know lots of other street people who have come here because of the Jubilee and the Olympics.
“I came down from Kent with my boyfriend two months ago because we wanted to get settled and we knew there would be lots more tourists and visitors in Brighton this summer.
“We’re not here to rob or cheat people, we’re here because we’ve got nowhere else to go.
“It’s worrying when the police come round and arrest us but we can make £20 an hour each so it’s worth it.”
A spokeswoman for Sussex Police said the force did not know why there had been an increase in begging, but most of the people arrested were locals.