Derby organisations will join forces this winter to combat street begging so they can focus on helping those who are vulnerable and homeless.

The Council recently hosted a meeting with a number of local agencies – including Derbyshire Police, Hope Centre, and Derby Churches Nightshelter, Padley Centre – to discuss a strategy that will:

  • set out better partnership working between organisations
  • discuss current city centre issues including antisocial behaviour, street begging and homelessness
  • explore and develop the 4Es:
    • Encouragement – to get vulnerable people to access support services
    • Education – to educate the public to donate to charities that provide the services, rather than to individuals on the street
    • Enforcement – to take action against individuals who are committing crime and are not accessing support services available to them
    • Exit – to give people a way out of street drinking and begging.

Derby City Councillor Asaf Afzal, Cabinet Member for Cohesion and Integration, said:

The Council is pleased to be able to facilitate and encourage partners to come together to address these complex and sensitive issues. We are planning to get more organisations on board to ensure that our plan succeeds.”

Paul Brookhouse, from the Hope Centre, Curzon Street, Derby, said:

“It is great to have partners from the voluntary sector, coming together with the local authority, police and all those that want to work with us to ensure the needs of vulnerable people are addressed in a collaborative approach, whilst also addressing the issue of street begging within our city.”

The Hope Centre was opened by the Derby City Church in response to a growing need of support for the vulnerable and homeless community in Derby. One of the growing services provided by the service is the food bank.

Phil Morton, Project manager of Derby Churches Nightshelter, said:

“Derby Churches Nightshelter and Derby City Mission are very aware of the activity and issues around some individuals on the streets of Derby.  We are looking to work with other agencies and organisations to help support these individuals.

“We are so impressed with the heart and attitude of the Derby general public to want to help support these people as well.  We just need to find a way of doing this together and in a constructive way which is going to allow these individuals some hope and escape from the circumstances they find themselves in.

“Giving money is not in our view the best way to do this, but offering time or giving that money to organisations who can best support and help these individuals is a better way of channelling that desire to help!”