Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Dispersal zone - a reader responds

November 12 2009
So who, exactly, is being antisocial? Dear Editor, There is what looks like a new weapon for the Corporation of the City of London and City police in their ongoing campaign of harassment against the City of London's rough sleeper community. It's a new dispersal zone, similar to the one in Waterloo. Is it a case that the Operation Poncho cleansing programme has not done its job? I have said in the past and say it again: all Operation Poncho does is cause sleep deprivation and mental distress. Could you pass on the enclosed paper [notice of the City dispersal zone] to Housing Justice or some group of solicitors, so that those of us who make up the City of London's rough sleepers community can know what our legal rights are? We may be rough sleepers, but we still have our human rights. I'd like to know: * Is being a rough sleeper anti-social behaviour? * Is waking a person up at 1.30-2am, three to four times a week, in the name of the City of London cleaning, anti-social behaviour? I know what I think, but I can't help wonder what a judge and jury would think. Peter Pickles London, by post (edited for length) Dear Mr Pickles, We'll try to get behind what drove this dispersal zone, but as a starter we report on it on page 11. Generally, legal measures that appear to target our readership are becoming more common, so with that in mind we're pleased to announce a new pamphlet is being produced to inform homeless men and women of their rights. Produced by Housing Justice, Liberty, The Pavement and Zacchaeus 2000, we hope it'll be hitting the streets before the next issue is out. Editor