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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 October, 2003, 12:59 GMT 13:59 UK
Campaign targets city's beggars
Chris, a beggar in Nottingham
Some homeless people say the campaign is unfair
An East Midlands city's poster campaign to discourage people from giving money to beggars has been criticised as "insulting" by the homeless.

Nottingham City Council is distributing the posters - with the slogan "Your donation is helping feed a heroin addiction" - around the city centre.

But some homeless people say the campaign is insulting.

"I have got to beg everyday just to eat and feed my dog," Ben, who is homeless, told BBC News.

Gun crime

"We do have to buy normal things, so to say we spend all our money on drugs is a bit far-fetched, although some of it is (spent on drugs)."

Anti-begging poster
Beggars buy drugs and drug dealers buy guns and we have to break that cycle
Jon Collins, Nottingham City Council leader
Chris, another homeless person, said: "This is the only means of getting money that is legal - otherwise we might have to shoplift or mug someone."

The posters claim that much of the money given to beggars is spent on drugs, which in turn fuels gun crime.

The city council wants people to put money for the homeless into its own collection boxes around the city.

The city council says it is working with other agencies to make sure beggars receive the support and treatment they really need.

Councillor Jon Collins, leader of Nottingham City Council, said: "Beggars buy drugs and drug dealers buy guns and we have to break that cycle."

First banned beggar avoids jail
04 Jul 03  |  Derbyshire
Beggar threatens to sue council
05 Jun 03  |  Nottinghamshire

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