Homless charity Crisis issues plea over police begging policy
Jul 23 2009 by Sam Casey, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
A NATIONAL homeless charity has warned police in Huddersfield not to demonise beggars.
Crisis issued the plea after Huddersfield South Neighbourhood Policing Team launched a new ‘three strikes’ policy for beggars in the town centre.
As reported yesterday, people found begging are first given a verbal warning, followed by a letter before being arrested if they are caught a third time.
Officers say the three-strikes policy should help cut down on anti-social behaviour and other problems related to begging.
Leslie Morphy, chief executive of charity Crisis, said her organisation did not support begging.
But she added that punishing beggars was not the answer.
“Crisis does not advocate begging,” she said.
“It is damaging and humiliating to those who beg, trapping them in a cycle of poverty.
“People who beg are among the most vulnerable people in our society.
“The majority are homeless, all are vulnerable.
“Begging is a sign of much deeper-rooted problems – most people who beg are or have been rough sleepers and may have mental health or addiction problems.