Charity boss warns of ‘organised gangs’ of beggars

Fagan-type gangs could be making up to £100 a day from begging on Newcastle’s streets, a charity boss claims, in the latest attempt to demonise the poorest – not to mention attacking the  results  while ignoring the causes.

Steve Bell, chief executive of Changing Lives in the city, has welcomed the move to ban aggressive beggars from Newcastle city centre.

The charity works with people who are homeless, battling addictions or dealing with other problems.

Mr Bell said: “We welcome what the council have done. If people want to give they should not be giving money – a cup of tea, a sandwich.

“There’s been a massive increase in people begging but not using our service or sleeping rough.

“We know there have been some harsh conversations between the rough-sleeping population and those coming in to beg.

“Some people are earning over £100 a day from begging.

> As usual we’re told they’re earning this or that – given that they’re unlikely to be keeping accounts, how do we know this ? 

Secondly, if you’re really earning over £100 a day, why on earth would you want a ‘normal’ life living on £72 a week ?

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