RBKC is running an anti-begging campaign, urging us to support official charities rather than street beggars.
“The fact is that begging is a pretty big issue here in the borough. We’re a lucrative patch and typically you will find people begging on Kensington High Street, King’s Road, Gloucester Road, Knightsbridge and South Kensington (Exhibition Road).
Many will say they want money for food or for accommodation for the night but all the experience of the Council’s Street Population Outreach Team, the local police and many charities that work with the homeless is that a high percentage of those begging use the money to fund their drug and alcohol habits and already have a roof over their head.
If you really want to help it is far better to give your money to the right charity.
There are many excellent organisations that do fantastic work and can help people get their lives back together. Specialist help can be given to work to overcome alcohol and drug addictions, find accommodation and access employment-based training. It’s these organisations that really need your support.
So, don’t be persuaded to give to street beggars, the truth is your money won’t really be helping them. If you are concerned about someone you see on the street you can call our Street Population Outreach Team on 020 7341 5210 or call Streetlink, a national service, on 0300 500 0914.
There is more information on our website and a list of some organisations working with homeless people in the borough at www.rbkc.gov.uk/alternativegiving.”