The man responsible for a Facebook page denounced last week by the Northampton Hope Centre for posting “insulting, demeaning and degrading” photos of homeless people has explained his decision to create the Ash Street Wildlife page.
The anonymous administrator has written to the Chronicle & Echo to state that the page is not aimed at anyone in particular and is just a “pastiche of the wildlife documentary genre”.
“Judgment isn’t made and nobody is targeted,” said the page admin.
“If people are in the street and are an interesting subject I may take a photo. The fact a large percentage of the photos contain inappropriate or antisocial behaviour is because that is what is genuinely happening a large percentage of the time.”
The Hope Centre, situated in Ash Street close to where the subjects in the photos are seen, works to relieve poverty and tackle the causes of homelessness in Northampton.
The collection of images has divided opinion, with some visitors calling for it to be taken down, while others have encouraged the photographer to continue posting.
But the administrator believes that the people in the photos are symptomatic of a much larger problem facing Northampton.
He said: “This page is not meant to offer a solution but it was to draw attention to things that are happening daily.
“Satire more often than not can serve a dual purpose. And thanks to the misplaced outrage the page has caused it seemed to have done that at least.”
He added: “In no way do I think because some these people are addicts and or homeless that they are bad people. At no point is the page saying so.”
The admin continued to say that it was not fair for people to urinate and defecate on the town’s streets, nor was it acceptable that used needles were left scattered on doorsteps, and that people should be abusive and antisocial toward others.
In response to the Hope Centre’s condemnation of his page, the admin said: “Maybe they are trying to create their own narrative and move some of the attention away from themselves and the millions of pounds they have received to help these people.”
The admin said that he, and other people in the area, had questions and points that were not being addressed by the Hope Centre or the police.
He also said that he had contacted the Hope Centre multiple times, even prior to starting the page, but received no positive response from them in relation to the concerns he had about the happenings on Ash Street.