Homelessness is not criminal, protest in London

This July 2012 video is called Mark shares the realities of sleeping rough homeless on the streets of London.

Another video from England used to say about itself:

London Council wants to fine the homeless £1000

2 June 2015

Correction: Not sure if Hackney is a Tory council, probably not.

Homeless people could be fined up to £1,000 for sleeping in doorways near popular tourist spots, under new rules launched by a London council.

Homelessness charities have condemned the move, saying that it turns rough sleepers – who are often escaping lives of abuse – into criminals.

Hackney Council’s Public Space Protection Order bans sleeping in public places – offenders are handed a £100 fixed penalty, which can rise to £1,000 in court.

By Joana Ramiro in Britain:

Saturday 13th June

Activists stage camp outside town hall after it tries to slap huge fines on homeless people

HOUSING campaigners will show their anger at a London council’s bid to criminalise the homeless by setting up camp on its front door.

Reclaim Hackney told the Star yesterday that activists will bunk down outside Hackney Town Hall for three days in response to newly introduced Public Spaces Protection Orders.

The council’s original PSPO banned “anti-social activities” including “rough sleeping” in increasingly gentrified east London areas such as Hackney Downs, London Fields and Broadway Market, with the threat of a £1,000 fine for rule-breakers.

A public outcry forced the council to drop explicit mention of homeless people from the PSPO but campaigners still want the orders scrapped completely.

Reclaim Hackney campaigner Jane Clendon told the Star: “I am totally against any type of PSPO anywhere in the country. There are adequate laws in place around anti-social behaviour which should be enforced as necessary by the police who are qualified to do this.

“Hackney’s PSPO gives the abilities of criminalising members of the public to council workers — they are not trained in this area and it is left to their personal discretion as to who is in breach of an order and who is not.

“I fear that stereotyping will come into play and sections of our community marginalised further and potentially criminalised.”

The group will officially announce the camp plans at a community fete it is holding in Dalston Eastern Curve Gardens at 12 noon today.

Hackney Council has ordered the PSPO as a “last resort,” but many fear the nature of the new law will lead to a lack of accountability in its enforcement.

The three-day protest will include the presence of local residents, as well as a string of housing and human rights campaigns.

A spokesman from Hackney private renters’ group Digs said: “We won’t stand by and let [Hackney Council] criminalise vulnerable people they have a responsibility to protect.

“We would have hoped the council’s conscience and judgement would have deterred them from pursuing this.

“But lacking that, the huge numbers of people willing to take action on this issue should convince them this PSPO is a dangerous mistake.

“This campaign won’t rest until we see the order overturned in its entirety.”

Hackney Council told the Star it refused to comment on demands to withdraw the PSPO.

An earlier statement by the council argued it dropped the word “rough-sleepers” from the PSPO “so that it more clearly reflects the anti-social behaviour the order is targeting.”

Hackney Deputy Mayor Sophie Linden blamed “inaccurate headlines” for people’s concerns.

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

Oxford holds off from ‘banning’ homeless people

Saturday 13th June 2013

OXFORD City Council has delayed a decision at the 11th hour over a plan which would “criminalise homelessness” following an intervention by human rights group Liberty.

The council was scheduled to make a decision as to whether or not to introduce a city centre Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) at a meeting of its executive board on Thursday night. If given the green light, the order will ban sleeping in public toilets and “persistent begging” — defined by the authority as begging “on more than one occasion.”

The PSPO would give council officers the power to issue on-the-spot penalties of up to £100. If those in breach are unable to pay, they would face prosecution and a fine of £1,000. Liberty contacted the authority on Thursday arguing that the introduction of a PSPO would be a breach of equality and human rights law.

And a spokesman for the authority confirmed to the Star that council leader Bob Price had now asked officers to withdraw the report so consideration can be given to the legal opinion provided by Liberty.

Cllr Price said a further report would be brought back to the executive, but only when the council is confident that relevant concerns have been properly addressed. The spokesman said: “We received Liberty’s comments this morning and it is responsible of us to take the proper time to consider the use of these new powers and what Liberty has to say. “Oxford City Council has been at the forefront of the national debate on PSPOs. We have been trying to balance the very real problems of nuisance behaviour in our city centre with the rights of individuals.”

Hackney Council was forced to shelve plans to “ban” rough sleepers from the borough last week after news that homeless people would be included on its PSPO caused a public outcry.

FOXTONS estate agency will remove anti-homeless spikes outside its central London office after a fierce backlash from members of the public, it said yesterday: here.

9 thoughts on “Homelessness is not criminal, protest in London

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