The homeless in SE1

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HF
Tuesday 7 June 2005 10.47am
Is it just me or are there a lot more homeless people/drug addicts hanging out in the Tyers Gate/ Leathermarket St park? I know they come to the manna centre round by the Horseshoe pub, but they seem to be spilling out into the park area.
I know its a tricky one coz where exactly are they meant to go, but a lot of kids hang out by the primary school/community centre there and you just hope that they don't become volatile/ leave needles about etc. They seem to me to be harmless enough, but I know a group of mothers were quite upset about it yesterday afternoon...
On another note, can I recommend not walking through that park after dark - my boyfriend just got mugged there by a couple of young-ish looking kids.

p.s I accidentally put this notice on the bottom of someone else's thread - sorry!
SJD
Tuesday 7 June 2005 11.15am
In response to HF we live opposite the park and yes we have definitely noticed a large increase in undesirable activity. On Sunday I watched someone pee into a beautiful well maintained flower bush, and in the past month or so I have seen people injecting themselves. It is such a beautiful space in the middle of the city and it really annoys me that people can't respect it. And the people that want to use it.

I myself don't walk through the park after dark and sometime regret doing it early morning. I can't understand why there is no lighting there, it seems weird since the Guy St Park is so well lit.

HF - thanks for the warning, unfortunately looks like the park is out of bounds now for me as far as shortcuts. Bit of a shame because on the whole the area is very safe.

HF
Tuesday 7 June 2005 3.33pm
I agree completely. Its a lovely little park but its being spoiled by 'undesirables' and their dogs peeing and fighting there. I don't actually think they are potentially aggressive - compared at least to the kids who hang round there late at night - but it does spoil a beauitiful spot and makes me feel uncomfortable sitting in the park at the weekends.
I wouldn't want to be really heavy-handed with them though or go to the police, so i guess there's not a lot that can be done...
Tuesday 7 June 2005 10.39pm
The majority of people you see are not homeless , they do live in hostels but find the freedom of living on the street more appealing (less rules and regulations). Also to beg is quite profitable and that vast majority are doing it to fund their drug use. They may be engaged in drug services but still beg to pay for the drugs they use each day in addition to any drugs prescribed.
My concern is the amount of youths/hoodies who feel that they are beyond the law ,mug and use violence and dont appear to be dealt with . Which in turn gives them permission to continue their violence and intimidation
Tuesday 7 June 2005 11.14pm
glodge Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The majority of people you see are not homeless ,
> they do live in hostels but find the freedom of
> living on the street more appealing (less rules
> and regulations).

Hmmmm... if they're staying in a hostel they are still, by definition, homeless.

> Also to beg is quite profitable
> and that vast majority are doing it to fund their
> drug use.

Really? Begging is profitable? Have you got proof of this? Should I reconsider my career?

> They may be engaged in drug services but
> still beg to pay for the drugs they use each day
> in addition to any drugs prescribed.

So are you saying most homeless people choose to be homeless so they can fund their drug habits? Rather than accepting that most homeless people have mental health problems and maybe turn to drugs/ alcohol in order to make their lives more bearable?

> My concern is the amount of youths/hoodies who
> feel that they are beyond the law ,mug and use
> violence and dont appear to be dealt with . Which
> in turn gives them permission to continue their
> violence and intimidation

Do you read The Daily Mail, by any chance?


Wednesday 8 June 2005 2.20am
HF Wrote:
> I wouldn't want to be really heavy-handed with them though or go to the police, so i guess there's not a lot that can be done...



Well there is a safety/behavior problem - and if you care about the place and your neighbourhood, there really is no alternative but to bring the authorities in. These sort of things only get worse if ignored - and they get worse fast.

That is part of what you pay the govt and the borough tax for - to help with these sort of things.

Wednesday 8 June 2005 9.40am
Excellent points LMJJ.
Wednesday 8 June 2005 12.23pm
So LMJJ , is it ok that the residents in the area feel too intimidated into going into area and feel unsafe to walk in the local park after dark.
Is it ok that where I live, discarded needles and used condoms are left lying on the stairwells for children to stab themselves on and find.
Should we just sit back and put up with type of antisocial behaviour because they are the victims.
Well what about the rest of us, are we not also victims of their anti-social behaviour.
Wednesday 8 June 2005 12.33pm
hydrometer Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So LMJJ , is it ok that the residents in the area
> feel too intimidated into going into area and feel
> unsafe to walk in the local park after dark.
> Is it ok that where I live, discarded needles and
> used condoms are left lying on the stairwells for
> children to stab themselves on and find.
> Should we just sit back and put up with type of
> antisocial behaviour because they are the
> victims.
> Well what about the rest of us, are we not also
> victims of their anti-social behaviour.

(Just speaking on my own behalf, if it's OK for me to butt in) I'd say that all the points Hydrometer mentions are definitely problems that need dealing with. However, any solution will require some action from both "homed" residents and "homeless" ones, and some understanding of each other's positions. Given this, I think one would stand a much better chance of success if one's starting point wasn't based on wildly exaggerated/unsubstantiated Daily Mail-style claims.

...if you press it, they will come.
SJD
Wednesday 8 June 2005 12.53pm
Ivanhoe,

Not sure what you mean by Daily Mail-style claims - I'm assuming you mean sensationlism? However, they are legtimate ones made by local residents. I did sit there on a Sunday watching 3 guys shoot up in a park where my friend takes her six month old to enjoy the sun.

We all know that by living in the centre of London we are going to have to share it with the tourists, the homeless or the obnoxious suit in our local pub!

But public parks are not there as urinals or secluded places to take drugs. They are for kids who live in apartments and have no where else to play, for the local community to enjoy a picnic now the sun's out and for some of us to walk through first thing in the morning so we can take into account how beautiful London can be.

Some people are homeless and that is a tragedy of our modern society. But we should we not accept their anti-social behaviour because we feel guilty as we have a job, a family to look after us or a place to live.

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