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Poll: Are we helping or hindering beggars in Northern Ireland by giving money?

Published 05/01/2016

A new study has sought to quantify the homelessness problem in Belfast
A new study has sought to quantify the homelessness problem in Belfast

What do you do when you come across a beggar on the street in Northern Ireland?

A debate has been sparked over whether we are hindering or helping homeless people by giving them money directly.

According to the first official audit, six people sleep rough in Belfast every night - however homeless charities suggest the number is much higher.

The Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) found there are 42 individuals in Belfast who frequently sleep rough, however, the actual average number of rough sleepers each night is just six.

One side of the debate suggested that it would be more beneficial to give money to a homeless charity who can distribute the funds to help re-home the person - rather than giving them the money directly. 

However the other side of the debate suggested the call is difficult to make as to whether to give them a pound to help them a little bit or walk away and feel bad about it.

Meanwhile the debate also opened up the question over when it was right for police to arrest those begging.

Figures obtained by the Stephen Nolan show indicated that of the 130 people arrested over the past five years here for begging almost 100 of them have residential addresses.

What do you think?

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From Belfast Telegraph