Angela Parmenter, Housing and Community Safety Manager at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said:
“We are aware of the issue of begging in our District and are completely committed to doing our utmost to prevent it including working in conjunction with East Cambs Policing.
“My team search Ely City centre daily looking for people in need of help and as soon as we see, or a member of the public alerts us to someone, we provide advice, assistance and accommodation, including the offer of temporary accommodation, if required.
“We have an excellent relationship with landlords and have worked hard to be able to secure accommodation for single people, usually within 48 hours of us first meeting the homeless person.
“We are confident that currently, we have no genuine rough sleepers in East Cambs however we are aware of people begging in Ely City centre. Unfortunately, we cannot make any individual engage with us or accept any accommodation that has been offered. However, we will always continue to try.
“Officers have been out every day since Thursday and spoken to three people who appear to be homeless. All three have again been offered emergency accommodation but all three have refused and have stated that they are in no need of assistance.
“Any person seeking temporary accommodation is welcome to visit the homelessness team at The Grange where help and advice can be given. We will continue to offer temporary accommodation as we have done for some considerable time.”