Search

Hackney Council responds after enforcement officers seen ‘issuing tickets to homeless people’

PUBLISHED: 18:24 05 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:21 06 November 2018

Homeless tents on the pavement in Mare Street earlier this year. Picture: Polly Hancock

Homeless tents on the pavement in Mare Street earlier this year. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

Hackney Council has responded to backlash sparked by its enforcement officers being seen giving “tickets” to homeless people and threatening to call police if they didn’t move on.

A tweet by Oonagh Ryder last week said: “Sad to see @hackneycouncil enforcement officers out today, issuing tickets to homeless people and threatening to call the police if they don’t move on.

“What are you hoping to achieve through this @hackneycouncil?”

Hackney mayor Phil Glanville responded by saying he was asking for an update on the situation. And now the council’s community safety chief Cllr Caroline Selman has said: “Both the mayor and I have personally made enquiries in relation to this case.

“The lady in question has not been issued with an antisocial behaviour warning, notice or fine and has been referred on to support services for onward engagement.”

The town hall said it did not take enforcement action against the act of rough sleeping itself, and only would do so when anti-social behaviour was taking place, such as drug use, drunkenness or threatening behaviour.

The furore follows a similar row three years ago when the council was widely criticised for introducing a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) that could have seen rough sleepers fined up to £1,000 as a “last resort”.

It was subsequently dropped after 80,000 people signed a petition objecting.

The council said at the time it was designed to tackle a handful of entrenched rough sleepers who “resisted all attempts to house them and help them” and were causing anti-social behaviour.

But Oonah told the Gazette the council was just trying to legitimise its actions.

She said: “Targeting anti-social behaviour is a common tactic of councils to avoid looking like they are criminalising homelessness by instead criminalising certain behaviours associated with homelessness.

“What I saw was a woman being targeted by council enforcement officers and moved out of an area because she was begging for the money she needed to stay warm and safe.

“It is not good enough for Hackney Council to legitimise their actions by defining begging as an individual’s ‘anti-social behaviour’ rather than as a symptom of the broader societal problem of deep inequality.

“Councils must tackle the root causes of homelessness, not just massage their statistics by pushing people into neighbouring boroughs or into the criminal justice system.”

Related articles

Latest Hackney Stories

40 minutes ago

Biff’s Jack Shack, nestled snuggly among the rest of the newcomers in a fresh round of eateries at Shoreditch’s Box Park, offers vegans the perfect comfort junk food.

60 minutes ago

Concerns over the management of the Wally Foster Centre rumble on, after organisers of a community event turned up to pay with £2,000 cash as requested – only to find no one was there to take it.

11:00

Leyton Orient captain Jobi McAnuff has heaped praise on forward duo Macaulay Bonne and Josh Koroma after the pair both netted in their 3-1 win against Bromley.

Vulnerable young people are given a voice to tell their own gutwrenching story of the terrifying exploitation of children to sell drugs.

10:00

The latest boxing news from Hackney

57 minutes ago

Each week, the Gazette takes to the streets to unearth something being manufactured right here in Hackney. This week we hear about Glow’s high-vis hats and snoods.

11:25

Leaseholders in a block where “extensive corrosion” caused bricks to plummet 100ft to the street below are furious after being billed up to £25,000 each for repairs.

Yesterday, 18:03

Mavis Jackson was born nine days after the Great War ended on November 20, 1918 – making her a “peace baby” despite her grand old age of 100.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Former teacher Steve shares his experiences as a foster carer for teenagers, from dealing with some of their more challenging behaviour, to the rewards of seeing a child develop into a happy and healthy adult

If you are an unpaid carer in Hackney over the age of 25, who would like to get back into work, then Working for Carers can provide the practical assistance and support you need.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now


Newsletter Sign Up

Hackney Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists