Published On: Wed, May 13th, 2015 on 1:47 pm

Public discouraged from giving money to beggars in Leeds city centre

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A campaign has been launched urging people in Leeds not to give to beggars in the city centre, but instead donate to support services that will help the homeless.

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The ‘Think Before You Give’ campaign is being led by the Leeds City Council Safer Leeds Partnership, and will encourage people to donate through a text number which will go towards support for the homeless.

The campaign will attempt to highlight how money given to beggars on the street may be used to fund an addiction, or be used as an income by beggars who have no need to beg.

It will also highlight support services available to the homeless and raise awareness of the work from support services to discourage begging and provide support to help get them off the street.

Superintendent Sam Millar, who leads Safer Leeds, said: “Begging in the city centre is an issue of concern and one which prompts regular complaints from the public and businesses. The police have been working closely with the council and homeless organisations to develop long-term solutions and the ‘Think Before You Give’ campaign is a key element of that work.

“Our aim is to break the cycle of begging, with all the threats that poses to individuals, and help them to make decisions that improve their quality of life.”

The campaign, complete with posters that read ‘You Could be Fuelling My Addictions’, will be rolled out across the Leeds District as well as on social media.

Anyone concerned about someone sleeping rough can call the CRI Street Outreach Team on 0113 245 9445, or during out of office hours the Council Emergency Duty Team on 0113 2409536.

What do you think of the campaign? Let us know in the comments.

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