Poll: Should we give money to beggars?
A local authority in England has come under fire after putting up posters warning people against giving money to beggars
Should we give money to beggars?
Poll results (total votes: 100)
Nottingham City Council implied any money given to those desperately seeking help on the streets would be wasted on drugs and drink.
Its posters included the slogans “Beggars aren’t what they seem”, “Begging funds the misuse of drugs” and “Begging funds the misuse of alcohol”.
A petition calling on the council to remove the posters, which campaigners said were “demonising homeless people”, received almost 40,000 signatures.
And, after seven complaints were made to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), it deemed that four out of the five posters portrayed all beggars as “disingenuous and undeserving individuals” and banned the ads.
ASA further said the posters reinforced “negative stereotypes of a group of individuals, most of whom were likely to be considered as vulnerable who faced a multitude of issues and required specialist support.”
However Nottingham City Council, which has now taken down the offending posters and changed them, defended its campaign.
It said it was not anti-homeless and it created the posters to discourage members of the public from giving money to people who begged and urged anyone who wanted to help genuinely homeless people to donate to charities for the homeless.
In response to the furore, homeless charity Crisis said giving money to beggars was a personal decision but added making a donation to a homeless charity, engaging rough sleepers in conversation or volunteering time are other ways of providing support.
What do you think – should people not give money to beggars? Take our poll above and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.