When the world spits on those who are poor and pretends as if everyone has access to safe and secure housing, what are the homeless to do? The answer is beg. Though it is humiliating, they have no choice. Unfortunately, even this right will soon be stripped of those who live on the streets in Poole, UK.
By April 15, 2018, those who beg for money or assistance in the Dorset town will fined £100. The introduction of fines was supposed to begin last month, but criticism from the Bishop of Sherborne and local residents delayed the implementation, which the Borough of Poole says will take place.
According to the BBC, the Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) will be in place in the town center, Holes Bay, Alexandra Park, and the Ashley Road area. Those who sleep in car parks or doorways may also be fined, according to the new rules.
Reverend Pat Southgate of homelessness charity Routes to Roots is appalled by fine. “Once again we are appalled,” Pat said. “This measure does nothing to help these most vulnerable people find a solution to help meet their needs, it merely puts them at risk of being criminalised for being poor.”
When the Bishop of Sherborne criticized the fines, he said it would make the homeless “even more vulnerable.” So far, more than 3,350 people have signed an online petition against the measure.
The authority maintains its position, citing a public consultation poll in which 50 percent of 279 respondents agrees that the PSPO restrictions are a good idea. The fines aim to “tackle behaviours that are causing concern and distress to people in the town centre, such as aggressive begging, street drinking.”
In six months, the restrictions will be reviewed by the authorities.
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