“DRUGGIES” and alcoholics have been menacing people on the streets of Bewdley by begging cash from traders and residents to fund their habits, it has been claimed.

They have been going around shops in the town and asking people for money to buy drink and drugs , said Bewdley town councillor Derek Killingworth.

Traders have become so concerned that they held a special meeting on Monday to stamp the problem out.

Mr Killingworth said the council condemned such behaviour and would back the businesses in their quest to put a stop to it.

“We have a plague hitting Bewdley, of drunks and druggies approaching people in the streets asking for money,” he said .

“Shopkeepers are very concerned. We, as a town council, condemn this behaviour and want it stamped out. It amounts to demanding money with menaces.

“We are 100 per cent behind people who have businesses and will do all we can to make sure it is stopped.”

Mr Killingworth said the problem had become “progressively worse”, adding the council would be working with police.

“People are going into shops, saying ‘give us some money’ and on Saturday an elderly lady in her 70s was approached and she was quite distressed by it,” he said.

He added the council hoped to set up a Shop Watch scheme with the businesses in the town, in which traders would be issued with walkie talkies to alert other shopkeepErs about any one acting suspiciously.

“Last week I went to Millennium Green and picked up syringes – that frightened me because children use that area,” Mr Killingworth said.