Hitting on the homeless

The German city of Dortmund in North Rhine-Westphalia is charging the homeless a fine of 20 euros for sleeping in the streets and if they don’t cough up they are marched off to jail.

Wouldn’t a homeless person in winter prefer to be carted off to a warm cell as opposed to sleeping rough and paying 20 Euros for the pleasure? You would think so, but apparently many prefer to pay up and stay put.  Quote. 

The chief of the public order office said there were no hunts on the homeless but they needed to act. Research showed other cities in the state simply issuing expulsions from certain areas in such cases.

According to broadcaster WDR a total of 464 sanctions against homeless people have already happened and in 265 cases a fine of 20 euros was issued.” End of quote.

265 people paying the fine is counterproductive and if the aim is to get them off the streets it is not working at all.  I  thought the Germans were smarter than that, but then there is the migrant issue…

Stuff.co.nz
Beggars out in force as Auckland summer cruise ship season arrives

We have our own problems with homeless littering our streets. Slapping a fine which turns out to be the equivalent of rent won’t solve the problem of moving them, but Tauranga has a plan.  They have a new law coming into effect in April next year to ban people from sleeping rough after businesses complained they were losing money from customers scared off by aggressive beggars and rough sleepers outside shop fronts. Quote. 

Tauranga City Council banned beggars and rough sleepers within five metres of retail or hospitality sites in Tauranga, Mt Maunganui, and Greerton.” End of quote.

Mayor Greg Brownless told Duncan Garner on the AM show that the problem is reasonably serious and the council is finding some homeless are resisting being moved. This indicates an entitlement issue. Their rights over the rights of the business owner whose doorway they are obstructing.

The council was conflicted on the issue with the vote split 6 to 5 in favour of the ban.  Brownless said the council is already invested in looking after the homeless but the bylaw is necessary as a last resort.

The ban will cost around $215,000 to enforce.  One council worker is already employed full time working with them and it is not expected that a special budget needs to be created or any more staff employed.

The increasing number of beggars on Auckland streets means Auckland Council should take note of what Tauranga is doing to address the problem.

Mark Richardson on the AM show said he won’t give money to beggars because he expects the tax he pays to be helping them already.  Quote.

[Richardson said] he expects better from the country’s leaders dealing with those living rough in New Zealand.

“I pay a lot of money in taxes every year, and I expect that tax money to be used by the Government in a more productive way.

“I expect that money to be used to actually ensure that these people that end up on the street are looked after, that the system works, and ensure everyone in what should be a sophisticated welfare system, is covered.” End of quote.

Richardson is right, we have an excellent welfare system as well as charities whose mission it is to feed and house the homeless, all funded by our taxes and donations. People with their bums planted on our streets and their hands outstretched for money are double dipping into public charity.

What also irks me is that beggars feel entitled to set themselves up in public areas at the expense of business owners and people who use the public places they obstruct, which is why I think Tauranga has got this exactly right.  Offer them a helping hand but use the law to shift them on if necessary.


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