POLICE are warning shoppers after "aggressive" beggars were spotted in the heart of a Hampshire town.

While on foot patrol in Fareham, officers were approached by a member of the public to report aggressive begging in the town.

The person has been reported for Breach of a Community Protection Notice (CPN) and enquiries are ongoing.

Fareham Police wrote on social media: "Persistently begging in a public place is an offence under S. 3 of the Vagrancy Act 1824 and this is the reason for a CPN being issued to the individual.

"Whist begging may seem harmless, some beggars are aggressive in their approach to the public and have been known to march vulnerable and elderly persons into shops to buy items for them."

They also added that beggars have been offered help from agencies but that they often refuse support.

The statement continued: "The beggars have been offered all sorts of help from various agencies, especially in the current climate. The sad fact is that some of these homeless beggars choose to live their lives in this way.

"They often refuse any and all help offered to them but it is there when they are ready to engage.

"If you do wish to support the homeless, then support the many charities that are out there trying to help the homeless community. That way you know where your money is going and what it is being spent on.

"We are sympathetic to the reasons people beg, but to do it aggressively and in an intimidating manner and demanding money from the more vulnerable public, is never acceptable."