News of crooks begging on Lisburn streets has prompted public warnings with the aim of eradicating organised crime in the city.
Leading calls for public vigilance was Lisburn Policing and Community Safety Partnership chairman Councillor Scott Carson.
Mr Carson was speaking just weeks after police moved on in Lisburn City centre a number of beggars they believe to be part of an organised crime gang.
“It is important members of the public exercise care around beggars who may be suspicious,” he said.
“This recent development is alarming and while the police have acted on one occasion it is important that any organised crime is eradicated from Lisburn city centre.”
Lagan Valley MLA Paul Givan also urged members of the public to be cautious when considering donating money to anyone on the streets.
“Recently it has been brought to my attention that a number of false beggars in Lisburn have been identified as part of an organised crime gang,” he said. “I would warn the public to be vigilant and careful of who they give money to on the streets of Lisburn.
“Only a matter of days ago the police moved on a gang; however there continues to be a number of people begging in Lisburn city centre in spite of this action.
“It is important the PSNI continues to monitor the movements of these individuals in order to keep members of the public safe as they go about their business.
“If organised crime gangs believe they can operate without fear of being detected they will continue to do so and trick members of the public.”