Complaint made to Police after busker moved on under Vagrancy Act

September 2014

Live events


In the UK a classical musician is suing Greater Manchester Police for loss of earnings after a PCSO (Police Community Support Officer) used laws that tackle ‘aggressive begging’ to stop him busking in Sale town centre. Professional flautist and singer Barry Jackson, 48, was singing Luciano Pavarotti arias and playing music in a shopping precinct when the female PCSO ordered him to move on saying he was a ‘beggar and a vagrant’ and was causing an obstruction. The intervention under the Vagrancy Act 1824. forced Mr Jackson to abandon his planned five-hour stint after just 45 minutes. He later consulted a solicitor and has now filed complaints to Greater Manchester Police and the Independent Police Complaints Commission. The incident occurred last month after a complaint was made to the police. Mr Jackson told Mancunian Matters “Busking is a great British tradition but it seems someone in authority wants to restrict street culture and that is bad for all for all performers who perform in the street like me” adding ”I always try to be a responsible performer, never obstructing and definitely never asking for money. I simply play so people hear my work and it’s a great platform for showcasing what I can do. There is no way I would demand or pester anyone for money.” Trafford Council confirmed it does not issue a specific licence for busking but added: ”If we are contacted by someone about busking we advise they should be mindful of shoppers and businesses by responsible and not cause an obstruction or nuisance.

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