Begging campaign will cause deaths

Southend Standard: Struggling – Ann-Marie Miles Struggling – Ann-Marie Miles

ROUGH sleepers will die on the streets and crime will rise because of a campaign to discourage giving money to beggars, a homeless woman claims.

Ann-Marie Miles, 53, has been living on the streets for three years.

She says she relies just as much on people giving change to survive as she does gifts of food and the help of churches and homeless charities like Harp.

She said many rough sleepers in Southend were concerned about the “Killing with Kindness” campaign being led by PC Martin Knights and supported by homeless charities.

The campaign discourages people from giving change to beggars on the basis that it may be spent on drugs or alcohol, that some beggars are not actually homeless, and that begging is a criminal offence.

But Ann-Marie said charities and churches were struggling to cope with the number of homeless people in Southend and, as a result, many people will still rely on begging through the winter.

She said: “I have a care-of address for benefits, but they were stopped ten weeks ago because a letter got lost in the post, so I need to beg.

“If PC Knights carries on with this campaign, you are going to find a lot more shop-lifting, muggings and burglaries, which people will be doing just so they can survive.

“The situation is getting ridiculous out there.

“Churches are so full there isn’t enough space for all of us when it comes to getting hot meals and people forget that staying in a hostel or night shelter costs money. It costs £50 a fortnight to stay in a hostel and £15 a week for a night shelter.”

She added she had a homeless friend, a Lithuanian Cambridge graduate who succumbed to alcoholism, about whom she was particularly concerned.

She said: “I can’t see her getting through another winter – not without the help of the general public.

“Charities like Harp are run by wonderful people, but they can only do so much.”

Comments (5)

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5:16pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Howard Cháse says...

This won't bother the government. They're already pushing the disadvantaged, infirm, old and vulnerable into exinction as it is.

If you're not a taxpayer or one of their rich mates they don't give a hoot.
This won't bother the government. They're already pushing the disadvantaged, infirm, old and vulnerable into exinction as it is. If you're not a taxpayer or one of their rich mates they don't give a hoot. Howard Cháse

7:10pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Lastlaugh,,. says...

Let those who won't give.. keep..keep their money and keep their advice to others not to give...
Let those who won't give.. keep..keep their money and keep their advice to others not to give... Lastlaugh,,.

8:56pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Joe Clark says...

Howard Cháse wrote:
This won't bother the government. They're already pushing the disadvantaged, infirm, old and vulnerable into exinction as it is.

If you're not a taxpayer or one of their rich mates they don't give a hoot.
Yeah right on go stand with your hand written sign waving in the air protest away whilst I sit at home in front of a roaring fire and a rather large glass of plonk feeding rump steak to the dogs whilst I choose what do I use this 52 inch TV in the games room for Playstation 4, X Box One, Wii U or shall I get sets for them all...

I will give and spend my money how I want I am not going to have anyone tell me to specific charities, I help those that I want to I normally go for the smaller non-national ones.
[quote][p][bold]Howard Cháse[/bold] wrote: This won't bother the government. They're already pushing the disadvantaged, infirm, old and vulnerable into exinction as it is. If you're not a taxpayer or one of their rich mates they don't give a hoot.[/p][/quote]Yeah right on go stand with your hand written sign waving in the air protest away whilst I sit at home in front of a roaring fire and a rather large glass of plonk feeding rump steak to the dogs whilst I choose what do I use this 52 inch TV in the games room for Playstation 4, X Box One, Wii U or shall I get sets for them all... I will give and spend my money how I want I am not going to have anyone tell me to specific charities, I help those that I want to I normally go for the smaller non-national ones. Joe Clark

10:10pm Thu 5 Dec 13

LoopyLou88 says...

Still going to give them help and money sorry but christmas is a time for giving - whilst we all indoors at night theres people out there right now sleeping in shop doorways, if i want to give them a hot drink or some money i will do so and no one can stop me, its my hard earned cash and i am gona do what i want with it! arrest me if you like but for what - generoustiy ?
Still going to give them help and money sorry but christmas is a time for giving - whilst we all indoors at night theres people out there right now sleeping in shop doorways, if i want to give them a hot drink or some money i will do so and no one can stop me, its my hard earned cash and i am gona do what i want with it! arrest me if you like but for what - generoustiy ? LoopyLou88

8:04am Fri 6 Dec 13

Jasier says...

If you don't give money to beggars, it will not drive them to crime, it will drive them into the support services that exist. They don't need to access them currently because they are being sustained in a street homeless lifestyle by the public's hand-outs. Giving to beggars is laudable but misguided.
If you don't give money to beggars, it will not drive them to crime, it will drive them into the support services that exist. They don't need to access them currently because they are being sustained in a street homeless lifestyle by the public's hand-outs. Giving to beggars is laudable but misguided. Jasier

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