Now we can’t even park in the main Bournemouth town centre carpark without fear of being attacked.
The Echo is reporting that homeless people (they refer to them as beggars) are sleeping rough in the carpark and attacking people for money. One man was barricaded in the lift until he handed over cash and another man was threatened with needles and a screwdriver.
That’s pretty horrible and I shan’t be going anywhere near that carpark soon. But it all comes down to a more basic question, doesn’t it? Why do we have so many homeless people in Bournemouth? It’s a relatively wealthy area and we should be ashamed to have this problem. I suppose most of it comes down to drug and alcohol abuse and unfortunately my own family has been familiar with the downward spiral that can occur.
So what’s to be done? These people need helping, but at the same time, the public needs to be protected from aggressors (whilst realising that the majority of the homeless are not aggressive). We simply can’t let them sleep on the streets, being vulnerable to health problems and potential attack.
Actually I don’t have the answer (for once!) But I do think it’s something that society needs to get a grip on. One of those things that needs to be a priority because it’s affecting not only those homeless people but also folk going about their everyday business. Nobody wants to be harassed but on the other hand, no-one wants to get into a downward spiral of substance abuse.
It’s one of those problems that we have to tackle and if we don’t it’s only going to get worse. I wish I could offer a solution.