Lambeth council have joined up with neighbourhood police officers to crack down on street beggars around Brixton Market.
A senior councillor has said more must be done to stop shoppers and diners in Granville Arcade (Brixton Village) being hassled for cash, and said those who do give money could be “killing with their kindness.”
A pop up community safety stall will be in the covered market today (Friday) to raise awareness of the campaign.
Lambeth councillor in charge of community safety, Jack Hopkins, said: “People who give money to beggars may not realise they’re helping fuel drug and alcohol abuse in Brixton which, in turn, leads to other crimes.
“We want to send a message that Brixton’s not a place for easy pickings and there’s no place for beggars by the burgers, burritos or bagels. We want to support the creativity and entrepreneurship that’s made Brixton Village such a great destination for food lovers and make sure that local residents and visitors feel safe at all times.”
Stuart Horwood, head of Brixton Market Traders’ Federation, told the Bugle that more had to be done to support those asking for money, who often suffer from substance misuse or mental health issues.
“The professional beggars are a pain in the butt because people do feel intimidated, and shoppers don’t want to be hassled,” he said.
“What I’d like to see is some kind of outreach programme for them, these guys have various problems and we have to help them sort them out as well.”
He added: “We don’t want to get rid of people altogether, we just want to stop them begging for money.”
What do you make of the clampdown on beggars in Brixton’s markets? Leave a comment below, or tweet us @BrixtonBlog.