Monday 13 January 2014 2.16pm
This is simply displacing the 'problem'. As residents of an area housing a major national railway station, we have to accept a higher-than-average number of transient or homeless people, who should be treated with the same respect that anyone else should, unless their individual behaviour is such that they forfeit any reasonable 'entitlement' to that respect.
The key word here is 'individual' - we should not assume that because someone lives on the street, and may have substance use or mental health problems, is predisposed to harass, threaten, abuse, or insult others.
In reality, most people with serious mental health problems are scared rather than aggressive, most street homeless people are at far greater risk of assault [including by 'upstanding', housed members of the public] than the rest of us, and life expectancy and general health is extremely poor.
Finally, what is the logic of ceasing the dispensation of methadone prescriptions from a pharmacy based in a chemist's that is [a] not part of a high street, and [b] is staffed not only be security guards, but presumably also a fairly large pharmacy staff complement?
As residents, we arguably should have primary rights to participate in these discussions [ie, rather than commuters, who are also, in their own way, 'transients'], and it is unlikely that inundating a busy, small, and understaffed Boots on Lower Marsh
is likely to be met with greater local approval than the current arrangements.
Or maybe the commuters, whose average demographic is likely to include greater numbers of those in higher socio-economic groups, are the ones who are actually being 'placated' by this 'out-of-sight, out-of-mind' tactic....