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Friday 25 June 2010 6.50pm
What are we going to do with him? This one needs more thought. Its easy to turn a blind eye and maybe some people might but with this chap in question I think there is somethng that can be done. The thing is, is he himself willing to help himself?
Friday 25 June 2010 6.54pm
My sympathy is also fading. In terms of this young Chinese man I have seen him go into the 'Amusement' place to use money on the machines- I am sure he would say 120 a fortnight is not enough if this is how he spends money.

Is there anything we can do to get the 'Amusement' place to stop allowing him in? Perhaps this would put an end to some of the activity? I have emailed the Community Support Team who said they would keep an eye out, but there is obviously very little they can do/are doing as he is still around.

This is all very sad and seems out of the blue as I dont ever really feel threatened or accosted in this great part of London- at least not until the last few weeks.
Saturday 26 June 2010 12.21am
Just got back from a couple of hours spent sitting outside the Ring.

So, the count was:
a) asked for cigarettes - twice
b) asked for money for food - once.

I directed the chap who asked for food to the Christian centre near Ufford Road to be told that it had closed for two days. Then I suggested the soup run outside the church at the top of Waterloo Road. Apparently, that's shut for the same two days. What is it with these charities all shutting at the same time? Or was I being lied to?

I can't remember the last time I spent a summer's evening sitting outside a pub on the South Bank and its neighbourhood without being importuned by the indigent, but it doesn't seem to happen north of the river with anything like the same frequency.

It's only anecdotal, but is there a difference in the policing of vagrancy between smart/tourist areas and this side of the river? If so, why?
Saturday 26 June 2010 12.36am
I spend a lot of time in the Holborn area and a couple of years ago, the council and the police in Westminster cracked down really hard on beggars, which meant them moving slightly eastwards into the Holborn area. The number of beggars increased very noticeably for a while, though it seems to have found a level now.
I am surprised at the shenanigans in Bermondsey Square! Isn't there supposed to be some sort of security team?
Saturday 26 June 2010 2.50pm
I saw a fight not so long ago when a shop keeper (north of the river) took exception to a vagrant relieving himself outside the shop. A pitched battle ensued, with four apparently homeless men fighting with the staff, and then the staff of the neighbouring shop, until the police arrived. They were confused and bemused and seemed at a loss as how best to proceed. The barrister I was with took the situation in hand, and described the incident to the poor cops who the pugilists away.
The Shopkeeper was not entitled to take the law into his own hands, but felt obliged to protect his trade. Different values clashing here, I never eat outdoors, it's just not worth the hassle.
Saturday 26 June 2010 7.49pm
KitKat wrote:
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.

Just to add to the above.... whilst on the way home from work drinks last night and after leaving the kebab shop he approached me and asked for money, having ignored him for the previous 3 or 4 weeks I said walk with me and lets chat. During the conversation I found out much of the details Kat has stated above but also he says he has been kicked out of home as his mum has a new man, he also says he was born and brought up here and his english seemed to back this up. I asked what he wanted to do in life and he said he wanted to be a chef, but noone would take him on. I told him to contact local businesses and see if you can do dish washing and see where that leads. Anyways after 15 mins of chat I gave him 3 squid to get himself a cheeseburger and left him with the feeling that I gave him a good pep talk. I then passed him earlier today and he seemed oblivious to the fact we had a long motivational (?!) chat the previous night.... i tried and seemingly failed.
Wednesday 7 July 2010 3.59pm
Has anyone contacted Social Service about this Chinese guy begging for cash in the area? I see him on most days and he keeps asking the same people for cash. He asked a couple at the bus stop, they said no, he walked away for a couple of minutes, then back asking the couple for cash again.... they seemed annoyed but just ignored him. Poor lad... He seems well dressed and clean for a begger though.
Wednesday 7 July 2010 5.34pm
I saw him begging on Saturday pm outside Coronet at E&C. Seems to be a lifestyle choice....he is housed and paid not I'm sure its social services I think its more a police/Community service matter because really he is harrassing people and they do give him money as he is praying on their better nature? 2 or 3 experiences as relayed above and most people feel differently towards him. He isn't underage and seems to know exactly what to do with his cash. Does make area feel unpleasant if you are constantly harrassed for cash every time you step out.
Thursday 8 July 2010 8.06pm
At our recent TRA meeting the main discussion was around rough sleepers and street drinkers. Speakers came from the council and St Mungoes to explain what is being done and what we should do if we feel uncomfortable about an individual. These are the relevant numbers for Southwark:
- If you want to report a known individual to be monitored - or are unsure who to call - call Natty St Louis on 0207 525 4187
-The Southwark Council number to report anti-social behaviour is 020 7525 5777
-If you see something violent - call 999
-If you see people you feel threatened by call the Safer Neighbourhood Team on 07766 443043

The speakers confirmed there is an increase of individuals, particularly Eastern European males. Reasons include fact that its a legacy of the area, which has a high density of hostels. That areas around stations attract transients. And the current economic problems leaving people who came to work on building sites homeless. Bottom line was its a complex problem and that we shouldn't hesitate to report things. often reporting people, particularly someone who is frequently around (like the Asian man mentioned above) is a help, as they are keen to monitor people.
Sunday 11 July 2010 2.47pm
just seen him again hanging round tb rd. himhe was asking everyone for 60p for a phone call..
i popped in the bookies to put a bet on the world cup//

he came in and was watching the guys playing roulette.. stood very close to them..

one of them shouted at him and pushed him away..he was very lucky not to get hit.. i reckon they had had enogh of him as he probably goes in a lot.

he then went on a machine.. dug out 50p..,lost it and went off

i saw him then begging for money.. but more persistently.
the last i saw some kind guy was letting hiim use his phone.. obviously said no cash but if you need to majke a call use this.. and he was ringing a number on a card..

i woiuld call the number in the previous e mail,, but would there be any response at the weekend???
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