Today (Wednesday 6 June) sees the start of a two-week campaign to help stop street begging in Croydon town centre.
The campaign will focus on begging hotspots around East Croydon Station, George Street, Church Street, Surrey Street, North End, The Queen’s Gardens and the Whitgift Subway.
The Safer Croydon Partnership’s (SCP) will use it to help improve town centre safety, by offering support to the vulnerable.
The first week will focus on engagement, signposting people to support, such as access to drug misuse treatment services and medical referrals.
Turning Point will help with substance abuse assessments, Croydon Reach and Evolve Housing will help to provide shelter and support for the homeless.
The council’s community safety team, Neighbourhood Safety Officers and the police will also direct people to services and investigate any reports of modern day slavery.
Croydon BID will also help by encouraging businesses to display a poster asking people to give money to the support charities who are working hard to fund solutions to homelessness and addiction.
To donate, volunteer, or for more information, please see www.thamesreach.org.uk
Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for safer Croydon and communities
“The engagement week is crucial for us to understand why people are turning to street begging so that we can offer them any help they need.
“If people continue to beg, and refuse to engage, or accept support, the next stage will be to take enforcement steps to stop this offence.
“However, what we really want is to be able to signpost anyone in need to the range of services for support.”