More than £300,000 given to beggars over two months was spent on drugs, a London council has claimed.
'Beggars need help not money to fuel their habits'
Westminster Council has calculated £351,366 was spent by drug addicted beggars in December 2003 and January 2004 - the equivalent of 12 nurses.
The figures have been released as part of its Killing with Kindness campaign which urges people to give to homeless charities, not beggars.
Councillor Kit Malthouse said beggars needed help, not money to fuel habits.
"Money given to beggars in December and January will unfortunately result in drug dealers buying expensive Christmas presents and jetting off to the sun on their profits," he said.
"Last year if people had given directly to charity rather than to beggars we could have funded a multitude of schemes and projects that would have assisted the homeless off of the streets and into a home."
The council came up with the figure by multiplying the average spent by a drug user each day by the number of beggars arrested who tested positive for drugs.
The campaign was launched in August.