A prolific beggar who persistently harasses shoppers despite having a home and income from benefits is being hunted by police after breaching a banning order.

Richard Turbyfield, 40, was given a criminal behaviour order in November to stop him entering any shoping city centre or asking anyone for money.

But Turbyfield, who used to live in a $165,000 property , was spotted three times in the exclusion zone last week.

He then failed to turn up for a police interview and a wanted appeal was issued.

Turbyfield was handed the order at Court after he was seen approaching numerous women and begging them for money.

At the time of the incidents in August he was living in accommodation and claiming benefits.

He was also told not to beg by police after a similar incident days earlier.

The order, which last until November 2018, means he is only allowed to enter the exclusion zone to attend appointments and must leave the area immediately afterwards.

Safe manager Rich Burge said he wants to see more action taken against people who hassle the public when there is support for them in place.

He said: ‘Turbyfield has been one of the most prolific city centre beggars over the last two years and evidence provided by City Safe and our members has helped the police to successfully obtain this order.

‘We are hoping the police, city council and other agencies will continue to take enforcement action when individuals do not take the support being offered to them and continue to harass members of the public for money whilst going about their everyday business.’

Councillor Paul James, leader of City Council, added: ‘It is regrettable that this case has come down to court action, but we only take criminal action against persistent offenders that we know are in accommodation and receiving benefits.

City Council will continue to work with partner agencies to achieve the best possible outcomes for those in need, whilst taking proactive action against people who are not.’

The police also warned people who are approached for money not to give him any.

Police Sergeant Matt Puttock said: ‘Anyone who we come across in the city centre who claims to be homeless is offered support to find accommodation.

‘We also provide them with a list of places that they can obtain free food throughout the week, negating the need for them to beg.

‘We urge anyone who is approached for money  to contact the police on the 911 telephone number so that we can follow this up and take appropriate action.’