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Liverpool Police homeless curb beggars belief

 
August 3rd 2016
 

© Ian Burt

Merseyside Police have adopted a football referee style card scheme to target aggressive begging following complaints that people sleeping rough have been behaving in an intimidating manner.

Homeless people who police decide are acting in an “anti-social manner” will be slapped with yellow cards. If singled out a second time, a red will follow – a final warning in no uncertain terms that an arrest or city centre ban is on the cards.

As the Law stands, street begging and sleeping rough are illegal in England and Wales, leading some to suggest that in theory what constitutes anti-social behaviour is open to the widest of interpretations.

Barely up and running, the scheme is already controversial, with critics like Liam Moore, of Merseyside social justice choir Voice in the City, speaking out about the victimising effect the scheme could have on homeless people in general.

Speaking to i news he said, “The issue is where will it stop. Does it open the floodgates to intimidation? Anyone who commits anti-social behaviour should be prosecuted, but we need solutions. Each person on the street is an individual and has their own story. Handing out red cards like football referee Howard Webb doesn’t solve people’s problems.”

The Merseyside measure is one of two recently undertaken with Liverpool City Council to encourage beggars and street drinkers to turn their lives around and enable them to access accommodation and support services with each card containing information to that effect. A new centre has also been opened to tackle addiction, homelessness and health problems.

One of the main organisers of the scheme, Liverpool Chief Superintendent Mark Wiggins, has defended the referee card scheme’s introduction. He suggested that police and local authority actions are motivated by complaints from the local business community and members of the public.

“These cards will help provide homeless people with the information they need to take advantage of support available. If some individuals do not take the offers of support and continue to commit offenses or anti-social behaviour then as a partnership we can take further action to protect the community.”

Wiggins remains adamant that the police’s starting point is one of support and help, preventing people who have received cards from getting into more trouble.

Inevitably concerns will be raised that Liverpool Police’s new approach potentially marks out any homeless individual unresponsive to it as a potential target for any overzealous PC out to hit his quota.

The scheme is backed by the council and the Liverpool Business Improvement District (BID) company, which represents more than 1,500 businesses in the city.

Originally reported by inews.co.uk

 
 
 

 

Contents

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Soup Run Forum

Web only: Emergency Islington shelter remains open during sub-zero temperatures

Chairman of the board

Rest in peace - in memory of lost friends

Prince poses

Starter pack boost

Wearing a jacket to beg?

Teens found guilty of killing Ralph Millward

The Passage withdraws service "as a last resort"

New learning centre for Glasgow

iHobo game causes controversy

Auckland extends ban on rough sleepers

Homeless interrogation

Affordable housing development opens in Edinburgh

Who decides?

Credit unions

New counts are optional

Nobby on stage

I will never forget you, my people

London homeless services in limbo over ?Ǭ£3.28m cuts

Disused night shelter re-opened for winter months

Coventry Cyrenians forced to cut services

London hub success for new rough sleepers

Crisis Skylight in Birmingham - a year on

Residents look ahead to staff upheaval

Midland Heart report

Labour call for hefty council tax levy on empty homes

Stik pic for the American Church

Lottery grant means new opportunities

Mungo?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s launches women?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s campaign

Homeless people forced into slavery

Homeless couple marry in Australia

Number of homeless in Southend underestimated

Basic banking for all

NSNO expands into west London

Scottish homeless applications drop by 19 per cent

Miami cannibal

Invisible People film UK homeless

The demilitarised zone in North America’s drug war

2012 - the year of the right to permanent accommodation in Scotland?

Crisis at Christmas

The Pavement is recruiting

Rough sleeper donates $250 to charity

Food voucher scheme scrapped

Commemorating friends and companions

Human rights for all

First person: Gemskii on regaining control of her life

The shades come off

Upfront: spikes

Comment: Spikes are the least of your worries

Opinion: All up in smoke?

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The Pied Piper of Housing

March for the Homeless

Being homeless doesn't mean you can't vote on May 7

The vulnerability ruling

The Queen’s speech

Criminalising homelessness

116-bed hostel for young homeless to close in Southwark

Sponsor a bed and rebuild a life

Hipsters neutralise anti-homeless spikes

What the Brexit will happen now?

Anti-homelessness protesters threatened with eviction, jail by Manchester city council

Showing our impact

Rebirth

The birth of the North Gower Action Group

A pianist, an artist, a dog called George and a new homeless app

Living water

Midwinter blues?

Councils back change in law to tackle rising homelessness

Having problems with your JSA?

Mayoral hustings on homelessness

Skippering

A major step in reducing homelessness?

Liverpool Police homeless curb beggars belief

Charity begins at home?

Legal aid charade

Surviving the streets – by those who've done it

Stop the scandal

Glasgow homeless services at risk

Bill gives councils legal duty to stop homelessness

Homeless Grenfell survivors afraid of deportation

 

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