Royal wedding: Windsor council leader in begging crackdown call

A council leader called for action to tackle homeless begging in Windsor, before the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Stuart, 40, from Windsor, has been living on the streets for the past four months since losing his private tenancy. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

A council leader called for action to tackle homeless begging in Windsor, before the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

 

Council leader Simon Dudley, of the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, has called on the Berkshire police and crime commissioner (PCC) to address the issue "urgently".

 

Mr Dudley said street begging created a "hostile atmosphere" for both residents and tourists.

 

In his letter on Tuesday to PCC Anthony Stansfeld, the Conservative councillor said: "The whole situation... presents a beautiful town in a sadly unfavourable light.

 

He wrote: "The level of tourist interest is set to multiply with the royal wedding in May 2018, and there are increased concerns from our residents about their safety."

 

Theresa May has publicly challenged a call by the leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead for police to take action against rough sleepers in the town ahead of the royal wedding later this year.


The prime minister, who is the MP for Maidenhead, said she disagreed with comments made by Simon Dudley on Twitter and in a letter to the Thames Valley police and crime commissioner.

 

Windsor Homeless Project described the comments as "abhorrent".

 

Windsor Homeless Project manager Murphy James said it was "sickening" that Mr Dudley had cited the royal wedding as a reason for his concerns.

 

He said: "If somebody is sleeping out on the street they are not there by choice; they are there because something has gone wrong.

 

"I went out on Christmas Day and there were 12 people laid out on Windsor High Street - they were not there by choice."

 

 

Homeless Law

 

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