Tents in Harrogate shop doorways highlights issue of street begging/rough sleeping

A new development in Harrogate's street begging/rough sleeping situation - Tents arrive in Harrogate. This one is located at the back of a shop on Oxford Street.
A new development in Harrogate's street begging/rough sleeping situation - Tents arrive in Harrogate. This one is located at the back of a shop on Oxford Street.

The unseasonally wet June weather in Harrogate has created a new situation which highlights the town's troubling street begging/rough sleeping situation.

Rather than being part of the town's summer events or the advanced party of fans for the UCI cycling championships, the arrival of tents in shop doorways in Harrogate town centre is 'homeless' people sheltering from the rain.

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Located primarily on Oxford Street, this new development in the recent growth of visible street begging in Harrogate will place more pressure on local authorities in Harrogate.

The question facing them is what can be done?

Or, perhaps, rather what should be done?

Is is a humanitarian issue or a social issue or a law and order issue? Or a bit of all three?

Talks are known to have been going on in Harrogate looking at a new strategy to street begging and rough sleeping in the town centre as part of developing campaign with partners including Harrogate Borough Council, and those listed on the poster including the Safer Harrogate District Community Safety and North Yorkshire Police.

Some of the hard-working local bodies and homeless charities devoted to handling the issue such as Harrogate Homeless Project are already on record as saying that at least some of the people on the streets have both accomodation and benefits and that the public giving money to beggers in Harrogate town centre for the best of reasons did not always help the situation, necessarily.

The authorities say it is a more complicated picture than it looks.

One that the arrival of tents may make even more complicated.

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