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Poll: Should we give money to beggars?

This poll is about 5 years old

A local authority in England has come under fire after putting up posters warning people against giving money to beggars

Should we give money to beggars?


Nottingham City Council implied any money given to those desperately seeking help on the streets would be wasted on drugs and drink.

Its posters included the slogans “Beggars aren’t what they seem”, “Begging funds the misuse of drugs” and “Begging funds the misuse of alcohol”.

A petition calling on the council to remove the posters, which campaigners said were “demonising homeless people”, received almost 40,000 signatures.

And, after seven complaints were made to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), it deemed that four out of the five posters portrayed all beggars as “disingenuous and undeserving individuals” and banned the ads.

ASA further said the posters reinforced “negative stereotypes of a group of individuals, most of whom were likely to be considered as vulnerable who faced a multitude of issues and required specialist support.”

However Nottingham City Council, which has now taken down the offending posters and changed them, defended its campaign.

It said it was not anti-homeless and it created the posters to discourage members of the public from giving money to people who begged and urged anyone who wanted to help genuinely homeless people to donate to charities for the homeless.

In response to the furore, homeless charity Crisis said giving money to beggars was a personal decision but added making a donation to a homeless charity, engaging rough sleepers in conversation or volunteering time are other ways of providing support.

What do you think – should people not give money to beggars? Take our poll above and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Voting in this poll has now closed


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Tiiu-Imbi Miller
about 5 years ago
i voted yes, but with some hesitation, if they spend the money on drugs it's a pity, but better than if they steal to fund a hard to break addiction. I am sure they are not all drug takers or drinkers anyway. it's common humanity to help someone we see in need. But someone I know had a better idea and offered to buy them sandwiches and coffee
0 0
about 5 years ago
I voted no. I don't think that giving beggars money helps them help themselves. I would rather give to homeless charities who can provide much needed support or support places like Social Bite. I have previously bought food for a homeless person only to have it thrown back at me and told that they would rather have the money, which has obviously put be off doing that again.