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We are committed to publishing objective reportage, tailored to a homeless readership, and to publicising the complete range of services available to homeless people, to reduce hardship amongst our readers and to enable them to guide their future.
We believe that drives to produce homogenous services for homeless people are misguided, and that a range of service types and sizes are the only way to cater successfully for our diverse readership.
We believe that sleeping rough is physically and mentally harmful; however, we do not preach to those who chosen to, nor do we believe that all options to get off the streets are necessarily beneficial to long-term health and happiness.
The Rights Guide for Rough Sleepers outlines your rights around arrest, stop and search, answering police questions, move-ons, no-drinking zones, sleeping rough, taking a pee in public and highway obstruction. It was put together by The Pavement, Housing Justice, Liberty and Zacchaeus 2000.
If your benefits have been sanctioned (cut off or reduced) and you feel this is unfair, you can appeal. Print this letter and hand it in at the office where you sign on. If you feel you need more advice about sanctions, contact Zacchaeus 2000 or your nearest Citizen’s Advice Bureau. And let us know firstname.lastname@example.org at The Pavement!
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Staff, 11 April 2013
The UK Borders Agency - the authority that has deported rough sleepers from Eastern Europe - is to be scrapped after home secretary Theresa May told MPs “its performance was not good enough”.
The UKBA was formed in 2008 as distinct from the Home Office, but Ms May said this had led to a “secretive and defensive culture”.
On March 25, MPS from the Home Affairs Committee published a report claiming that the UKBA had repeatedly supplied incorrect information about the size of backlog asylum cases, describing it as “not fit for purpose”.
Committee chairman and Labour MP Keith Vaz welcomed the home secretary’s decision to put the border agency “out of its misery”.
Jane Evans, 11 April 2013
A musician who kicked and stomped on the head of a Bristol rough sleeper, has been sentenced with a suspended jail term.
Sharon Collins, who was bedding down with her Jack Russell in a Bristol underpass known to locals as the Bear Pit, spoke to Diego Rodriguez at 1.15am in October last year; he responded with an unprovoked attack, kicking Collins in the back of the head and returning to stamp on her face.
CCTV footage and blood found on the defendant’s shoe helped to secure his arrest and subsequent conviction.
Although he says he was drunk and cannot recall the encounter, he pleaded guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Crown Court judge David Ticehurst gave Rodriguez a 12-month prison sentence, which was suspended for 18 months. He must also carry out 240 hours unpaid work and pay £100 court costs, along with a further £100 to the victim.
The judge told Rodriguez: “As your barrister said, this was a malicious and violent offence. This woman was sleeping rough. She regarded an underpass in Bristol as her bedroom.
“She was sleeping on blankets, her head was on a suitcase and she was trying to get some sleep when someone like you comes along and kicks her for no good reason.”
Sean Lafferty, 11 April 2013
The Old Bailey has heard how a man killed a Scottish homeless person and later turned up at Buckingham Palace demanding to see the Queen.
Ghodratollah Barani strangled Mark Morrison, 46, originally from Dunblane, at Marble Arch, central London, in June and spent the next week repeatedly trying to see the monarch.
Barani had been to the palace before the killing and was twice taken to hospital but doctors thought he was feigning illness to advance his asylum application. He said he had been hearing voices telling him to kill someone to make him king. He believed the Queen would help him and when he was stopped at the north gate of Buckingham Palace, he said he was the king of Afghanistan.
The 27-year-old Afghan, who lived in Sheffield before arriving in London, pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. He was ordered to be detained in a secure hospital for an undefined period of time.
Barani had been taken to St Thomas's and Gordon hospitals after two previous attempts to enter the palace.