Shoppers in Northampton are again being encouraged not to give money to beggars this Easter as part of the controversial ‘Killing with Kindness’ campaign.
Next Tuesday and Wednesday, Northamptonshire Police officers will be in the Market Square from 11am to 3pm to highlight concerns that gifts of money to homeless people are likely to be used to fuel a drink or drug habit.
Members of the public will instead be urged to consider giving a donation to charities, who work with homeless people to provide life skills and support, to help introduce them back into society.
The ‘Killing with kindness’ campaign is supported by Northamptonshire Police, Charities from Oasis House, housing support, Northampton Borough Council and the Bridge Project.
Sergeant Simon Pinchin, from Northampton town centre, said he was aware that the ‘Killing with Kindness’ campaign was controversial with people who do not want to be told how to spend or give their money.
He said: “I can only say that there are many worthwhile charities within this town that are set up to help and support those with a variety of issues which include homelessness and alcohol dependence. They can offer professional support based on experience to those who require their assistance.
“By giving money directly to people on the street, you risk encouraging begging in Northampton which has a direct impact on local businesses and those shopping in the town. The money may then be spent on alcohol or drugs which simply add to anti-social behaviour in the area.
“The officers on this operation will be able to provide anyone found begging with a list of agencies that support people with alcohol, drug or homeless issues.”