East End’s street beggars offered support

BEGGING hotspots are being targeted in the East End following a council crackdown on anti-social behaviour.

Tower Hamlets council’s Drug and Alcohol Outreach Team along with Tower Hamlets Enforcement Officers (THEOs) patrolled Brick Lane, Hackney Road and Whitechapel Road, moving beggars on and offering support to help to step away from their street-based lifestyle on Sunday, August 22.

Three beggars accepted support for drug and alcohol related problems and will now receive help and treatment advice for their addiction.

A homeless beggar was referred to the Rough Sleeper Team for ongoing support with a housing situation.

Six people were not willing to take up the services on offer and were moved on by the THEOs.

Councillor Abdal Ullah, Lead Member for Community Safety at Tower Hamlets Council, said: “This joined up approach means that we’re able to tackle the issue of begging by helping individuals move away from life on the streets.

“Obviously they have to want help, but when that happens we can make a real difference to both the life of the individual and those that live within the community.

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“When this help is not well received we can use our enforcement powers to move beggars on and disrupt the way that they operate.”

New monthly care plan meetings have been set up to monitor people who are regularly involved in antisocial behaviour on the borough’s streets.

Plans are underway to continue the operation to ensure a lasting effect - this includes joint patrols to give advice to street drinkers and beggars.

For information about the support that is available to help people struggling with alcohol or drug related problems, call the council on 0207 364 2017