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Wednesday 23 June 2010 3.41pm
I saw him the other day, begging with a cigarette in his hand. Guess he's using the money for slot machine as well as for cigarettes.

Let's see what social services would do after Ben contacts them. However, I have a slight suspicion -maybe it's the fact that he's not fluent in English and we've mistaken that as learning difficulties....
Wednesday 23 June 2010 7.59pm
At Bermondsey Community Council this evening the Grange ward safer neighbourhood team reported that they are dealing with begging on Tower Bridge Road

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Wednesday 23 June 2010 9.23pm
I contacted social services and they said there was nothing they could do unless I contacted the police first. So I contacted Southwark police who reassured
me that they will work alongside social services and housing officers to intervene and provide help as required. Let's see what happens.
Thursday 24 June 2010 1.18am
I spoke to him today, after he approached at the bus stop in TBR. I'd say he has some degree of learning difficulty. I was in a hurry to get my bus but if I see him again I'll offer him some food (My guess is that a lot of places won't serve him).
Friday 25 June 2010 11.00am
last night , one of the many beggers we get on blackfriars rd, took offence to being told no and reached over and grabbed a handful of food off a customers plate. they were sitting on our benches to the front of the pub.
unfortunatly for him , he picked the wrong tourist as the guy stood up and punched him square in the month and shouted something that i didnt understand.
its becoming quite an issue around here at the moment and im sure that more of these scenes will occur.

i for one am getting sick of having to police my front tables just to keep the beggers away.
Friday 25 June 2010 12.35pm
It is becoming more of an issue in Bermondsey, too, with similar scenarios of people being hassled at venues in Bermondsey Square.

All nationalities are involved in the begging. The other night a couple of drunks [M&F] bedded down on one of the wooden benches, complete with duvet and cans of strong lager, had sex [though I don't know how!] and then started begging and hassling again! No doubt wanting their post-coital smoke :p

Another large group have taken to frequenting Leathermarket Gardens and speaking/shouting/yelling at each other.

I told them that someone would call the Police, if they kept it up - they thanked me, stroked the dogs and carried on yelling.....

Not the most pleasant aspect of Summer.
Friday 25 June 2010 12.51pm
It's a problem. Exacerbated by the fact that, as Auntie Pat notes, most food places won't serve beggars. Not saying I'd be delighted if I'd decided to eat out and found a smelly, noisy or drunken person in the same restaurant, mind. But I can imagine getting really upset watching people eat in comfort if I were hungry on the street. One homeless guy on Tooley St. told me the thing that got to him most was people binning half-eaten pizza right in front of his nose and leaving him to dig the remains out from the rubbish.
Friday 25 June 2010 3.35pm
What's the outcome from the Bermondsey community council meeting regarding this issue? does anyone know? It's becoming a really annoying problem. My sympathies for these homeless/beggars are fast diminishing.
Friday 25 June 2010 4.28pm
I saw the young Chinese guy in Leroy Street this afternoon, not sure if he lives around there or not, he did ask me for money but for cigarettes not food.
Friday 25 June 2010 5.50pm
I first saw this guy a couple of weeks ago walking home with a friend from Del Aziz. After a drink in the evening, it felt pretty threatening to be hassled for cash, and we shot off down TBR.
I then saw him in the middle of the day and again accosted for cash, so decided to talk to him as he wasn't threatening looking. He is 22, lives in a homeless hostel and needs cash for takeaway food. He says he gets 120 a fortnight which he says isn't enough.
While I have huge sympatheties for the homeless, this guy is just cruising for trouble and I suggested he talk to the people at the hostel for more support and also Kids Company in Decima St - don't know if he's too old for them but they should be able to refer him?
I don't think he's got a learning disability but hanging around the streets all day asking strangers for cash is bound to affect your thinking and interpersonal skills. Very sad; hope something constructive can be done for him as it seems he is losing goodwill and the local shopkeepers can't be keen on him hassling their customers.
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