Notts council demonise homeless as drunk drug addicts in new campaign

They’re humans too

Nottingham city centre has been littered with posters telling people they are “pouring money down the drain” if they give to beggars.

Another poster says: “Begging: Watch your money go up in smoke”, reinforcing the idea all homeless people are drink and drug addicts.

The poster campaign comes as part of the Nottingham Community Protection (NCP) team’s new initiative to #givesmart.

According to NCP, the majority of beggars on Nottingham’s streets are not actually homeless but are in fact swindler’s taking advantage of the charitable public.

Nottingham City Council leader, Jon Collins, said: “These professional beggars can make up to £800 a day and have in the past waved notes in front of officers.”

According to the #givesmart website:

* Most people sleeping rough do not beg and most people begging do not sleep rough
* Begging often funds the misuse of drugs and alcohol
* There are many local charities that can help people without a home or who have a drug or alcohol problem; they need your support
* Charities can make your money go so much further

Encouraging the public to donate responsibly is an extremely sensible initiative, however these posters encourage people not to donate at all.

Spliffs and tinnies used in the NCP’s posters reinforce dated clichés that characterise all homeless people as drug and alcohol addicts. The council’s sweeping generalisations show a real lack of sensitivity towards Nottingham’s homeless problem and unsurprisingly, people are upset.

Irate noughties punk band, The King Blues, posted on Facebook today in order to advertise the potentially villifying effect of the campaign.

The Blues aren’t happy

The band also highlighted the fact that Nottingham’s shelters have come under attack from council budget cuts in the past, when several Framework homeless hostels were closed down in 2011.

The Nottingham Beggar’s Union are hosting a protest in retaliation to the campaign which they’ve named ‘Bollocks to #smartgiving’. The protest will take place at Market Square on the 2nd of April.