New Law In London Would Fine Homeless £1,000 For Sleeping Outside Or “Loitering”

homeless LondonBy John Vibes

The homeless people in Hackney, London are facing expulsion from the street due to a new law will allow the police to give out fines and other legal penalties to homeless people who are found loitering, begging and sleeping in commercial places.

This “Public Space Protection Order” which was introduced by the council of Hackney will place a fine of £1000 on homeless activities. The order has been met with numerous criticisms, with many pointing out that the new laws effectively outlaw homelessness.

Matt Downie of homelessness charity Crisis, one of the major opponents of this legislation, said that the homeless population in London has been victimized enough.

“Rough sleepers deserve better than to be treated as a nuisance – they may have suffered a relationship breakdown, a bereavement or domestic abuse. Those who sleep on the streets are extremely vulnerable and often do not know where to turn for help. These individuals need additional support to leave homelessness behind, and any move to criminalize sleeping rough could simply create additional problems to be overcome,” Downie said.

A similar scenario was supposed to happen in Oxford, but during the consultation process, there was so much outcry from the local population that the government was forced to pull back on their proposal. In the case of Hackney, there was not a single consultation before the policy was introduced.

The policy has been largely rejected by people in Hackney, and there have been thousands of people to sign petitions that ask for the ban to be lifted. However, it is not clear if the city has any intention of paying attention to these people.

We have covered many other instances of homelessness being criminalized in recent months. As we reported just a few weeks ago, that homeless people and supporters in Sacramento were protesting a recent ordinance that makes it illegal for them to camp in the city. Many of them were camped out in front of city hall for the past month and are demanding a reversal of the camping ban. Soon after, police invaded the encampment in riot gear and made several arrests.

In another story, we recently covered a homeless man was arrested in Fairfax Virginia this week after police discovered a home that he made for himself in a local park.

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John Vibes is an author and researcher who organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference. He also has a publishing company where he offers a censorship free platform for both fiction and non-fiction writers. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can purchase his books, or get your own book published at his website

  • marlene

    How do you get to London? Close your eyes, shut down your brain, and turn left!

  • berrybestfarm

    What a joke! Like a homeless person can pay the fine. Eventually they will end up in jail for failure to pay ( here in the US debtors prisons are surreptitiously being re-instated–against the Constitution, of course) and then the government will be screaming it needs more money for the jails. I’m always a bit amused by these laws that say we have to do a thing that we don’t have the means to do or that we must not do a thing that is natural.

    • CAWS

      That is the point; to lock them up in work houses to die like they did a century ago. They have already tried this in Columbia,SC .

      • michaelsavell

        London still has some work houses so the GUV.are utilising all the free space.They are gradually getting rid of the old londoners by dint of high rents in order to sell to billionaires.

      • Brett

        Yep. All been done before…

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  • Philip

    sounds like London authorities are following Las Vegas’ example in reverse – there, citizens attempting to feed homeless are fined $1,000. More than one reason for homelessness – job loss, medical factors, outfallings from military service (murdering nations for the Federal Reserve), etc.

  • Robbie

    What callous looney tune came up with that idea, what does the queen or prince charles have to say about their homeless subjects being treated in such a shabby manner.

  • Lorraine Reeves

    It’s the government who should be fined £1000 for each homeless person they have failed!

    • Don Mega

      what’s the point, they’d just tax it out from the middle-class? just like crimes done by the police are almost never paid personally by the cops, but by the tax payers.

      • El Adventurero

        The police are not the long-arm of the law, but the strong-arm of the rich. Ever notice how the affluent always avoid jail time while the poor always get the book thrown at them?

  • Eve Jane Lucille Davies

    I don’t understand how it would work. Where do you send the bailiffs when the debt is not paid?

  • Dan Judelson

    This story is a) from June 2015 and b) not a story – after 80,000 people (rightly) complained Hackney council withdrew the measure. Outrage doesn’t excuse lack of fact checking (which took less than a minute).

    • oopsilaffatatory

      Thank you for pointing out the original date and the subsequent cancellation of the ludicrous proposal.
      I was about to check another source because it sounds implausible that anyone would consider fining the homeless £1000.

      However, as it is posted here with a current date, most people will naturally assume it to be a current story.
      Not everyone has the time, even if they have the inclination, to check every news story they come across.

      • Dan Judelson

        I apologise for my rather harsh tone. In my defence, all I did was click the link in the first line of the story which took me to a Metro article published in 2015.

        Tragically, though it is asinine to consider fining the homeless in this way, it was not only plausible, it happened and was only withdrawn after totally justified public protest.

        • oopsilaffatatory

          I have now found the missing link! My apologies.

          Honestly I did click on the bold blue type expecting it to be a link but nothing happened :/
          Can only assume it was down to my laptop which is being really buggy of late.

  • #combevalley

    Fined. Unable to pay, then prison. Prison record, then unemployable.

  • MFX

    Hackney dropped the idea back in June, try and keep up.

  • Dean

    Sounds like the making of a well populated & over financed prison system. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  • oopsilaffatatory

    As many will also surely be thinking…
    How the name of Blind Justice is a homeless person supposed to cough up a grand in fines?

    It is hard to believe this story is remotely true given the implausibility of the fines.

  • Carolina Uribe

    I never understood the point of this. I saw the trend starting in US and I am ashamed is moving to London. No kidding, but if they had a 1000 pounds, do you think they would be sleeping on the streets? What does this accomplish?

  • Nicholas Higgins

    It’s not the initial fine that is the main cause for concern, but the follow up when the person fined refuses – cannot – pay, and/or remains where they are. What then? Incarceration? Forced relocation? Death by lethal injection? Firing squad?
    This is another gentrification program by the Lunatics In Charge Of The Asylum!

  • LaRae Bailey


  • Robert

    The world is truly turning into a evil place when homeless people are expected to pay more than what they would earn if they could find a crappy job.

  • John Bratton

    fine them and with what money will they pay with what a load of numpties

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