SDC have given themselves new powers to entrap the poor, to criminalise them, put them into debt and into prison.
On the 18/06/15 SDC introduced Public Space Protection Order (SDC) No 1
This measure will punish people begging near cashpoint machines, outside KFC, or sleeping “open to the air” ie outside – anywhere in the area designated on this
See: → MAP
by making them pay an on the spot fine of up to £1000.00
The council know most beggars / the homeless won’t be able to pay this.
They know beggars / the homeless will be forced to the Magistrates’ court and will have to pay at least another £150 in court charges.
They know most won’t be able to pay the increasing burden of debt and fines.
They know people will be imprisoned… for the crime of begging near a cashpoint machine or outside KFC or being homeless.
This is absurd.
What this means in reality is beggars / the homeless, will be subject to Grayling’s mandatory court charge of at least £150 as well as facing further punishment as is happening now.
SDC know that as soon as a beggar / a homeless person is sent to a Magistrates’ court they are setting them further on a path of indebtedness and exclusion
This is not about helping people, it is about punishing people for the crime of being poor. Begging and Homelessness prosecutions have increased significantly and the new powers will only allow more. This has nothing to do with offering people help.
All SDC care about is socially cleansing the centre of Folkestone so it looks nice. Shepway District Council are the Hyacinth Bucket of the Conservative movement – they are concerned only with appearances.
Please write to your local cllr to ask them to rescind this order