Sussex Police: stop fining rough sleepers!
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Sussex Police has been using plain clothes police officers to arrest homeless people who are then fined for begging. This approach does nothing to alleviate homelessness, instead creating a cycle of punishment and further poverty. Please sign this petition to ask the Sussex police stop arresting rough sleepers and having them fined for non-aggressive begging.
Ray Pape, a defence lawyer who works with homeless people, has seen a rise in the number of clients prosecuted for begging. He said: “It is difficult to see why it is in the public interest … I am not talking about aggressive begging or harassment but situations where people have asked for a few pence … Is this a good use of public money?”
Many of the rough sleepers who risk begging are particularly vulnerable and desperate. Some are struggling with addiction, a problem which requires understanding and support. Arrests and unaffordable fines are not a compassionate or effective response.
Please sign this petition and demand that Sussex Police stop arresting rough sleepers. It’s time to stop the cycle of poverty and fines, and find more appropriate ways to respond to the issues facing local homeless people.
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My wife and I became homeless when we followed a high risk strategy to follow a dream as a result we attracted a lot of successes. We also attracted the attention of a conman. He chose to set up a fraudulent company, stole artwork and informed us that our home(a caravan) wasn’t going to be there much longer. Three weeks later our caravan was stolen. Our local police force in Worcestershire have taken no action against this individual. We ended up living in a car for six months. Now we have recently moved into a new home. From our experiences we have met a lot of people who are living on the street ranging from ex directors, expat teachers who get no support from the government for three months and many other decent human beings who have made a bad decisions. As a police force it would seem that you support a government that is happy to force people into homelessness. And like West Mercia police force you prefer to pick on easy targets and exacerbate homeless peoples situations and criminalise homeless people because burdening them with fines they cannot pay and then no doubt when they can’t pay you will send them to prison which makes it harder for them to get a job. Stop being so destructive and suppressive!
about a minute ago
This is a disgraceful way for the police to behave. Most of the homeless are there because they have no choice. I saw one of my homeless friends last evening with his old dog, in the pouring pain, unable to raise enough money to get a roof over his head. There are 599 other rough sleepers in this borough alone. Something is wrong. Undercover police will not solve the problem, it will end up creating a new one.