Charities 'betrayed' over plan to outlaw begging on streets

Homelessness charities say they feel betrayed by leaked Government plans to criminalise begging.

The White Paper from the Government's anti-social behaviour unit, due to be released on 12 March, contains plans to make begging a recordable offence.

Shaks Ghosh, chief executive of the homelessness charity Crisis, was shocked by the proposals. "This is a betrayal. In the past two to three years, we've been working very closely with the Government on a benign agenda, focusing on solutions such as rehousing rehabilitation and outreach. Giving a vulnerable person a criminal record for life will only put obstacles in their path," she said.

Louise Casey, director of the anti-social behaviour unit, caused controversy when she was at the Rough Sleepers Unit by accusing homelessness charities of scaremongering.

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