Fining the homeless instead of helping them
Poole Council; busy fining the homeless in your name.

When Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany he quickly set about marginalising and victimising the many minority groups he hated or disapproved of. Most people know his victims included jewish people, gypsies, homosexuals and so on, but not so many people realise they also included the homeless.

In a move which can only be described as hate politics, the local council governing Poole has decided to fine homeless people for sleeping rough and to fine any homeless people found begging on the streets.

Fines of up to £100 will be imposed based on Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) that are to be introduced from 16 April in a bid to “tackle anti-social and nuisance behaviours.”

The council said in a statement that the policy, also covering drinking alcohol and leaving unattended possessions in the street, is intended to prevent anti-social behaviour, crime and disorder, and to protect individuals and various communities from harm.

What the spokesman didn’t say is that homeless people look bad, smell bad and ask for money,  and anybody who is homeless is obviously a criminal, drug addict or alcoholic and that’s not the kind of person we want sitting on our park benches or messing up our wonderful town. Because that would be uncaring, prejudicial and hate speech, unless the homeless people are white, in which case it’d be okay.

Let’s be clear that we’re not talking about rooting out the army of professional beggars that blight every town in the UK, but just your common or garden easy-target homeless people.

The Bishop of Sherborne
The Bishop of Sherborne criticised the fines which she said would make the homeless “even more vulnerable”.

The local authority justified the move on the grounds that 50% of the 279 people who responded to a public consultation agreed with PSPO restrictions on begging in the town centre.  So far, almost 4,000 people opposing the measures have signed an online petition, which has also been criticised by local residents and the Bishop of Sherborne.

However, the views of the 139 people who supported the council’s spiteful plans evidently count for more. 139 supposed residents in a town with a population of more than 147,000 thought that the homeless should be fined. In a town of 147,000 people there are probably more than 139 people who think Elvis is still alive and that Adolf Hilter was really a nice guy if you got to know him outside of work.

In any case, in the name of keeping Poole a great and glorious town, the local council has decided that rather than find homes for all the homeless people in their borough, and ensure that that nobody is in need of food, money or shelter, they’ll just fine them instead, and hope they go away. In the name of the residents of Poole.

Robert Blackthorne

Bluetooth - otherwise known as Robert Blackthorne. I'm a photographer by trade and preference, but have written a couple of plays to boot. I've seen enough of the world to be able to put things into perspective and know how much our daily news is distorted by mainstream news outlets.

Unlike most of the contributors of Goodish Times, I'm a lifelong Conservative voter and voted 'leave' because I was never asked if I wanted to join the Socialist Republic of Brussels and Luxembourg. I hate censorship and bullying, no matter where it originates from.