People suffering from alcohol addiction often find themselves on the streets with nowhere to go after having lost everything. When an addiction takes hold, nothing is as important, and many addicts find themselves resorting to criminal activities to enable them to fund their addiction. Some will beg on the streets in order to get money for the drug or alcohol they crave.
However, beggars in Birmingham are now facing arrest as the police in the city attempt to crackdown on the problem. West Midlands Police are trying to address the issue after a survey revealed that many of the public feel intimidated by beggars in the city centre and would like the area to be safer. Beggars that refuse to stop intimidating workers and shoppers despite being warned could now face arrest.
Police will refer those caught begging to local charities and agencies from which they can get help to stay off the streets. However, if these people refuse help and are consistently found begging, they will then find themselves arrested and dealt with by the courts. Plain-clothes police officers are currently working on the streets of Birmingham to identify beggars. They will then refer them to charity organisations. PC Lee Howard says that the force recognises that many of the beggars on the streets are suffering from gambling, drug, or alcohol issues but if they refuse to accept the help on offer then they will be arrested.
West Midlands Police have been involved in a police and partner initiative – Operation Engage – for the past two years and this crackdown is part of that. Police are also asking the public to report beggars who do not ask for money but just sit in doorways. PC Howard said that these beggars do not think they are doing anything wrong because they are not asking for money. However, the police are also targeting this form of begging because the public want something done about it. He said, “Ultimately, begging is an offence and it is clearly having an impact on people and businesses in the city centre; there’s only so much help we can offer people before we have to take other action.”
The police are also asking the public to refrain from giving cash to beggars because this money is often used to feed addictions. They say that it is better to report them to the local authority so that the beggars can get the help they need.
Not all homeless people are addicts, and not all beggars are addicts. However, a high proportion of them are suffering from addictions to substances such as alcohol and drugs or activities such as gambling. These addictions can leave some people on the streets, and begging for money is the only way they can access cash to feed their addiction.
Tackling the issue by providing treatment is the best way to help these people to begin a new life. However, it is not an easy task. The problem for the police is that many of these addicts believe that they are beyond help. They feel as though they have nothing left and that there is no way back for them. Living on the streets and begging for cash is their life – many are not willing to change this.
If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction, it is time to get help before your problem gets worse. Living on the streets is not something that most people would choose but, for many addicts, it is all they have. Their addictions have destroyed their lives and, in many cases, the lives of their families. Addiction Helper can help you kick your addiction before it is too late. Call today and speak to one of our expert advisors who can provide you with the advice and support you need to make a change. Alcohol help is available, seek help before it’s too late.