Anti-begging bollards criticised by Bristol University Help the Homeless

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By Olivia Duggan, Third Year, Theology

Bollards placed in Trenchard Street car park in response to an increase in the number of complaints of aggressive begging have been labelled as ‘anti-homeless’.

The President of Bristol University Help the Homeless has criticised the controversial move, labelling the policy as ‘a clear lack of understanding to the problem of homelessness’.

‘It will not stop begging, it will simply move it to a different location putting the most vulnerable in our society at risk. This shows a serious lack of compassion, and as a society we must condemn it’.

Many have also taken to Twitter to criticise the bollards and accuse them as being ‘anti-homeless’. One Twitter user suggested the council should have used the money spent on the bollars' installation to fund hostel beds.

A spokesperson for Bristol City Council claimed they are not anti-homeless people and that ‘there is a difference between anti-begging and anti-homeless’. They said that the Council are working with the homeless in the area ‘to try and help them access support.

This is not the first time Bristol Council have tried to prevent begging in this car park and the bollards are the consequence of two years of public complaints.

Homelessness is one of the biggest problems Bristol faces with a review from the charity Shelter on 8 November estimating 11,3000 people are homeless in the South West. Bristol contains the largest proportion of this number with an estimated 2,774 homeless.

Featured image: Epigram / James Cleaver


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