Homeless Link support the campaign to scrap the Vagrancy Act
Blog posted by: Helen Harrison, Wednesday, 19 June 2019.
Alongside Crisis, Centrepoint, Cymorth Cymru, Liberty, Shelter Cymru, St Mungo’s and The Wallich, Homeless Link are proud to be partners in the campaign to scrap the Vagrancy Act 1824.
The centuries-old Vagrancy Act, which makes rough sleeping and begging illegal in England and Wales, should be scrapped because it is needlessly pushing vulnerable people further from help, according to a new report from Crisis. The calls come as the Government announces its review of the Act as part of its rough sleeping strategy.
Leading figures from across the political spectrum and the police, including former Met Commissioner Lord Hogan-Howe, have joined to call for the repeal of the Act, branding it out of date, inhumane and unfit to deal with the modern challenges of addressing rough sleeping and begging. You can read more in the press release from Crisis here.
In support of the campaign, Rick Henderson, Chief Executive of Homeless Link, said: "The Vagrancy Act is outdated and worse than that, it is hugely damaging. Threat of punishment drives people further away from the services and support that is there to help and criminalising people for sleeping rough has an adverse effect on the efforts being made by many to end rough sleeping. We stand alongside our members – homelessness organisations up and down the country - in fully supporting this campaign to repeal the Vagrancy Act.”
Join us. To find out more and sign up, please visit the #ScrapTheAct campaign.
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In November 2017, Kevin Bigg, who was rough sleeping in Carlisle was arrested after a child threw £2 into his sleeping bag. He was fined £100 for begging, even though he hadn’t asked for the money.
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