Monday, 16 November 2015

Criminalising the homeless through Public Spaces Protection Orders

To the Kent Messenger:

Dear Editor,

Making criminals of the most vulnerable people in our town is one of the most appaling ideas Maidstone Borough Council has ever had. The use of Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO) against rough sleepers is as immoral as it is pointless.

Homeless people need support to get off the streets, support that will often include help with other issues rather than just finding a place to live. Criminalising them through a PSPO is the opposite of help and support in my book.

The council has failed homeless people whose numbers have risen drastically over the past 5 years in Maidstone. There are now seven times more homeless people in Maidstone than there were in 2010.

The council needs to focus its energy on providing shelter and support for homeless people rather than criminalising them.

Stuart Jeffery
Maidstone Green Party

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