“Do you agree with giving money to beggars?”
It’s an individual thing. The councils’ arguments are logical but
the reasons for giving are complicated. I don’t give all the time
but I do tend to give to young people, particularly girls, because
a lot of them have come out of the care system. Yes, they might be
using the money for drugs but then they might need it for a
Councils don’t like beggars on their streets because they underline
the failure of services to provide for the vulnerable. It seems to
me that the plight of most beggars is bad enough
withoutÊheaping vilification on them. In an ideal world, it
would not be necessary to beg, but until we have Utopia, I shall
continue to give.
Disability equality adviser
I personally would rather offer to buy some food, a coffee or cup
of tea to someone I saw begging on the street. It is sometimes hard
to know who is genuinely in need. I hope that these councils
encourage people to give money to charities that can help
appropriately and campaign for better statutory services.
CHANGE self-advocacy group
A lot of beggars are homeless. They can’t get money from anywhere
else so they have to beg. I have given money to someone – I gave
him £1 because I felt really badly for him. But I would be
annoyed if he spent it on drugs or alcohol. We need to have more
hostels and to monitor what they do with the money.