Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Polish beggars target householders<

POLICE in Burnley and Padiham are advising residents to be on their guard after a series of incidents where Polish citizens have been knocking on doors, begging for money.

So far three men of different descriptions have called at separate homees displaying cards asking for cash.

In the first incident, last Friday afternoon, a smartly-dressed Polish man, thought to be aged around 20, was reported to be knocking on doors and begging in Burnley Road, Padiham. He showed a card to residents which said he was a student and needed money to complete his studies.

The man, who is white, was wearing a dark-coloured knitted hat, zip-up jacket and dark trousers.

In the second incident, a man was seen putting a card through doors in Basnett Street, Burnley. The card said he had three children and needed money to buy food and clothes for them. This man is white, around 5ft. 4in. tall and of stocky build. He was wearing a blue tracksuit and a blue baseball cap.

A third man with the same card was also seen targeting houses in Briercliffe Road, Burnley. The beggar is thought to be aged around 50 and was wearing a blue baseball cap and blue tracksuit top. He was also carrying a Lidl carrier bag.

Police are keen to stress none of the men have been agressive, although residents are asked not to give them money.

Insp. Viki Crorken of Burnley police said: "I would ask people not to give them any money. There are a lot of support services available to help people with things like clothing.

"We would advise people either not to answer their doors or to answer but say 'no thank you' and then close the door. The men all have different descriptions but the way they ask for money is the same."

Anyone with information is urged to contact Burnley police on 425001 or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555 111.