Expert teams are offering advice and support.
Beggars and street drinkers in Lambeth are being helped to change their lifestyles after an operation across the borough.
The council worked alongside Lambeth police, the UK Border Agency and CRI, the national social care and health charity, arresting a number of people and referring them to support services.
Councillor Lib Peck, Lambeth Council Leader, said that the operation showed the real and long term support available to those who need it in Lambeth.
“We are asking people not to give money to beggars, but instead contact our expert teams so we can make a real difference to their lives,” she said.
Following the operation, seven people were charged with begging and two more for theft. Of these, eight live in social housing and three were of no fixed address. Six of those arrested failed police run drug test for Class A substances.
Steve Smith, CRI deputy director, said Lambeth had programmes in place to help drug addicts, homeless people and those committing anti-social behaviour.
“We are helping the people found to be homeless get into hostels, and from there we will support them into permanent accommodation,” he said.
“Those who have failed drug tests are being assessed, and will be given treatment and case management where appropriate.
Work being done in the borough has already cut street drinking and begging in Waterloo by more than 40 per cent, but the council is calling on people to do their bit to tackle the problem.
There is now also a number for people to call if they are concerned about beggars and homeless people on the streets of Lambeth.
Cllr Lib Peck, Lambeth council leader, said: “No one needs to beg or sleep rough in Lambeth. If you see someone in need call us and we can help them.
“It may seem cruel asking people not to give money to those on the streets – but in reality we’re trying to help people make long term lifestyle changes that could save their lives.”
People concerned about someone begging or sleeping rough on the streets of Lambeth should phone 020 7501 0601 or email [email protected].
Photo courtesy of by Jessicastjohn, with thanks.
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