The director of a Crawley homeless shelter said fining people begging in town ‘is not the right way forward’.
She made the comments after Crawley Borough Council’s Tory opposition leader said it should consider introducing on-the-spot fines for street drinkers and aggressive beggars.
Director of Crawley Open House Charlie Arratoon said: “I don’t think fixed penalty notices are the right way forward but enforcement is.
“People can do things discretely, they don’t need to be walking around the streets with open vessels of alcohol, it’s quite intimidating.”
She added the number of street beggars in town had been reduced greatly compared to before Christmas.
She said: “That’s been joint working with different agencies in town.”
Cllr Duncan Crow (Con, Furnace Green) sid the fines ‘should be looked at’ by the council after they were introduced in Worthing.
He said: “We should look at all options to deal with begging including public space protection orders.
“There is no one-size-fits-all solution but the ability to issue fines could have the potential to help reduce the amount of begging, alongside other efforts such as encouraging people to donate to homeless charities rather than give to people begging.”
Cllr Peter Lamb (Lab Northgate), leader of the council, said: “I’d need to talk with local homelessness charities and look into the detail of the policy before commenting.”
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