Westminster’s fine plan slammed

Homelessness charity the Simon Community has criticised Westminster
Council over its plan to fine homeless people up to £500 if
they are caught sleeping rough in any of the London borough’s open

The Simon Community accused the council of a lack of understanding
of homelessness issues. “Introducing a fine for those in need of
somewhere to sleep amounts to punishing and criminalising some of
the most vulnerable members of our society.”

But the council’s director of social and community services Julie
Jones said there was no need for people to be sleeping rough. “We
have put the safety nets in place for vulnerable rough sleepers, so
it is legitimate for us to tackle the problem of people who persist
in sleeping on our streets and refusing offers of help.”

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