Poverty and Inequality

04.01.18

Council leader vows to crack down on ‘aggressive begging’ ahead of royal wedding

The leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council has this week written to Thames Valley Police calling for a crackdown on homelessness and “aggressive begging” in Windsor ahead of the royal wedding.

In his letter to police and crime commissioner Anthony Stansfield, Simon Dudley, the leader of the authority claimed that homeless people who do not make use of the accommodation on offer to them are “choosing” to remain on the street begging.

He added that homeless people created “concerning and hostile atmosphere” for the residents and tourists visiting the royal borough.

Dudley also claimed that the borough experiences anti-social behaviour, such as “aggressive begging and intimidation.”

The council leader continued: “The whole situation presents a beautiful town in a sadly unfavourable light. As leader of the royal borough this situation is totally unacceptable to me and my fellow councillors.”

Prime minister Theresa May, who is MP for Maidenhead, has said that she does not agree with the Tory MP’s comments, but that it is important to address homelessness.

Murphy James, Windsor Homeless Project manager, took to social media to hit back at Dudley’s claims.

He said: “To say that ‘these people’ are rejecting all offers of help and support is null and void when it is well known that the help and support offered is nothing near what is needed.

“Instead, we have a network of services, all dealing with the same people, yet not talking to each other.”

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