Trafford Council staff have been speaking to people begging in Sale town centre to offer help to those genuinely in need and to challenge those seeking to mislead the public.
Following reports of aggressive begging in the town centre, the Council’s Community Safety team joined up with Housing Options and Rough Sleeping staff and local Greater Manchester Police Community Support Officers to tackle the issue, and spent a day listening to and talking to people begging as well as other members of the public.
Where individuals were found to be in need, the team offered suitable accommodation along with food and travel vouchers.
There were however a number of people portraying themselves as homeless when that was not in fact the case, and attempting to mislead the public about their circumstances. These individuals were warned about their behaviour, with CCTV checks also taking place to identify people travelling into Sale for the purpose of begging.
Cllr Mike Freeman, Trafford Council’s Executive Member for Public Safety, Governance and Reform said:
“The Council absolutely recognises the hardship and difficult situations that people can fall into, and in the first instance aims not to be punitive but rather to assist by providing accommodation and wider support.
“We fully understand that residents giving money to people begging do so with the best of intentions, particularly during the pandemic, but unfortunately there are unscrupulous individuals who are taking advantage of their generosity.
“We would urge members of the public to give responsibly via appropriate charities rather than directly to people begging, to ensure that their donations reach those genuinely most in need.”
Housing advice can be obtained from HOST by calling 0161 912 2230 or emailing email@example.com
Posted on Wednesday 22nd July 2020