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Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Anger at a common scene

September 24 2009
Time to rethink the definition of ‘antisocial‘? Dear Editor, People scorned him and turned him away, yet they left their half eaten lunch on plates that could have filled so many empty stomachs. I couldn't stay and had to leave, ashamed that I could only give him 50p and some tobacco. Had they looked into his eyes they would have recognised that the street had taken over his soul; he was no threat but they felt threatened. It took me one look at his face for us to communicate, both knowing that the other had been there or was still there. As I shuffled back to New Belvedere Hostel for veterans, I kept asking myself, how can we let this happen? That Sunday, for the first time since my return to the UK after 30 years, I had seen a young man begging in Canary Wharf at the tables of the restaurants and bars. He was sober and not asking for drink but food. True antisocial behaviour is not a homeless person on the street, but rather the passerby who feigns indifference. Men clad in an office suits, sat on walls eating fast food in public during a lunch break, while shoppers look away and mutter words of disdain. Anyone who refuses someone food and in return throws theirs away should be charged with antisocial behaviour. Yours Sincerely, NCN New Belvedere House, London Dear NCN, I'm afraid what you describe is a common scene, and your own experience of being homeless helped in how you saw it. Good luck at New Belvedere House. Editor
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