Brighton & Hove will see the launch of a new campaign to take beggars off the streets and into services that will help them change their lives. Posters will appear throughout the city carrying the slogan ‘Don’t Kill With Kindness.’
The campaign has been initiated by Brighton & Hove’s Partnership Community Safety Team. The Team has already achieved a 91% reduction in the number of beggars in the city.
It now plans to go a step further by re-launching the ‘alternative giving’ scheme that was originally established by the Business Forum in 2000. This will enable agencies to provide services to the street population. It will also ensure that the money is not spent on drugs or alcohol.
The team takes an innovative approach that combines police enforcement with street outreach services. These services offer support and alternatives to people so that they can access treatment and get off the streets.
Collection boxes will be placed in various locations including Churchill Square, Brighton Station, shops and offices. The charities to benefit from the funds collected are:
- Equinox Care Ltd (working with street drinkers)
- Brighton Housing Trust (registered charity for the single homeless)
- Crime Reduction Initiative Foundation Programme (offer help for those who misuse drugs and alcohol)
Councillor Ken Bodfish, chair of the Community Safety Forum, explained, “We appreciate that people often want to help beggars on the city’s streets. Sadly, most have a drinking or drug addiction – and giving them money will feed that addiction, sometimes fatally.
“It’s far more useful to give that money to specialised charities that work to help them get away from begging into a safer environment and a more positive future.”
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Brighton & Hove City Council