MORE Argus readers say they have been pestered by aggressive beggars on Newport's streets.

On Saturday, we reported how a graphic designer who helped Newport win city status feared beggars are giving the new city a seedy image.

Richard Webb, 41, of Lower Machen, was approached by four beggars within minutes of arriving by train.

He said: "It suggests the city is going downhill, and I don't think it is. That's not the impression I would like people to get."

Since then, readers have contacted the Argus, protesting about beggars and calling for the authorities to act on the issue.

Retired fitter Brian Teakle, 68, of Bettws said: "Last Thursday I was walking down Commercial Street when I was approached by a youngish man.

"He asked me for spare change and when I said no, he verbally abused me. "I wasn't frightened, but annoyed that I should be harassed just minding my own business.

"Anyone visiting the city must really be put off by these kinds of people.

"They sit on the same pitch for hours and no-one does anything. They should be hosed down and moved on."

And Gary Sutcliffe, 50, from Newport, said: "I was walking by the Wave near the river when two beggars just started urinating in front of me. There was a woman with a pram behind me. It was disgusting.

"I've seen them begging dozens of times and they work as a team.

"It is ruining Newport's reputation. People see it as a soft touch and it's attracting drug users from all over.

"It's about time the police and the wardens dealt with these people and moved them on." Bob Bright, cabinet member for community safety, said: "We have flagged this up with the police. It's a criminal matter and our rangers cannot deal with it.

"We cannot tolerate people using threatening behaviour in the city."

Chief Superintendent Kevin Price said: "It's not a simple issue to resolve.

"Such people decide to live on the streets and not to accept the support of housing and benefits.

"We are assessing the problem to determine the best strategy to minimise the concerns of the community."