Beggars to be hit with 'cruel' £100 fine by Poole council

Poole will ban beggars from next month (Rex)

Beggars in the coastal town of Poole are to be hit with a £100 fine.

The council in the Dorset town has said the fine against the homeless will come into force from April 16. The controversial plan had been delayed after criticism from church leaders and some residents.

The Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) will be in place in the town centre as well as areas nearby.

Poole is not the first council to consider such a move.

The fines will also be imposed on anyone found sleeping in car parks and the town’s doorways as well as covering anyone people drinking in the street.

The move though is not without criticism.

Some 4,000 people have signed a petition, including the Bishop of Sherborne, the Right Reverend Karen Gorham.

She said the fines would make the homeless ‘even more vulnerable’.

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Poole,a popular coastal town, will introduce the fine just at it prepares for the tourist season (Rex)

Also opposing its introduction has been Labour MP David Lammy, who has called it ‘cruel and pointless’ on Twitter.

Fining people who are homeless and sleeping on the street is one of the most cruel and pointless policies I have ever seen,’ he wrote.

However, Poole councillor Karen Rampton said they wanted the town ‘to be a safe and welcoming place for everyone who lives, works or visits’.

The council also claims the move has the backing of some 50% of the local population following a public consultation.

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