Rough sleepers under SGR rail bridge



  • I see there are pedestrian signs painted on the pavement under the bridge now. And piles of rubbish next to them.
  • edited December 2017
  • Jess123Jess123 Stroud Green
    Yesterday afternoon I walked under the bridge. You had the excellent clarinet player (who I do not put in the same category but just wanted to give him a mention for his excellent playing) followed by the white Rastafarian, the 2 women with cardboard signs and a young guy I hadn't seen before. I stood outside the tube entrance for 10 minutes to wait for my husband and 4 different homeless people asked me for money during that time. One of them was an older Asian chap with a high-vis jacket who seemed like he had significant learning needs. Later, I drove up the Stroud Green Road, and someone started knocking on my window asking for money. I found the whole thing extremely upsetting. I don't dispute that some of them may have shelter, but most clearly needed help and I feel it's a sorry state of affairs that in a city with so much money, homelessness to this extent still exists.
  • Yes there are also an increasing number of tents in the park. There are also flowers with messages that seem to suggest that someone died under the bridge? It is upsetting and is a problem that seems to be worsening.
  • You just need to look at the second chart here

    The country has made the choice that elected a government which has cut local expenditure by lots. We are seeing the consequences under the bridges
  • I have just made a donation to a homelessness charity as a response to this discussion. It's not really the answer though.
  • As someone else said elsewhere, the problem hasn't increased much under the bridges. It's just that whereas you may previously have got off the bus and gone straight into Wells Terrace entrance you are now going under the bridge and seeing what happens there. It will still be an issue when Wells Terrace reopens but I bet it won't be discussed as much here.
    Out of sight out of mind.
  • @missannie you have a point, but I don't think it's the whole story. The entrance has been closed for a year and the presence of homeless people under the bridge has been increasing steadily over the past few months and is borne out by the national statistics on rough sleeping.
  • Miss Annie I think your incorrect if I dare say that. I have cycled up and down SGR every weekday for at least ten years. The situation is a lot worse these days I suspect due to the increased footfall. It will die away once that reduces. You don't get it so much at Well Terrace as that is managed by TFL.
  • -noodles--noodles- stroud green road
    i have lived here for 9 years & feel the homeless situation has become much more visible in the last year or so. i support crisis - it's difficult to know what else to do.

    the area has definitely seen a change - at times i've felt intimidated going into sainsburys at the top of SGR, sometimes there are 3 men begging together - 1 in particular is very persistent. i've also seen the meat & salmon shelves cleared by shoplifters on more than one occasion. security guard completely oblivious.
  • It is not only homeless people impacted by Austerity

    You can see effects of austerity cuts since 2010 on the NHS here

    I really don't understand why people vote for this to happen and we probably haven't seen anything yet with the impact of Brexit.

  • I counted eight 'bedrooms' this morning. I have spoken to my local councillor, StreetLink, Islington council and Haringey council, and they all say there's nothing that they can do. This seems to be a permanent settlement and no-one seems able to help these people beyond providing things that they need to survive on the streets.
  • edited November 2017
    I walked past the other day and two of them were tidying up their patches, sweeping around them and generally trying to make them look spick and span. An incongruous sight - encouraging, intriguing, very sad and a number of other feelings.

    Edited, I just read that Islington Gazette article. It's worth reading. Very sad. Is St Mungo's the best charity for helping people, I seem to remember someone saying somewhere here it was.
  • All the beds and stuff cleared into an Islington van this morning and taken away.
  • This evening, not only were the bedrooms/begging pitches gone, but so were their occupants. I assume today's operation involved an Dispersal Order as well as street cleaning. Sadly, Haringey didn't do their side of the road where a pile of discarded bedding remains.

    To answer @Rufus's point, local authorities and the Police do have options - as can be seen today. In fairness to Haringey, most of the problem is across the border in Islington.

    These are:

    * The council can enact a Public Space Protection Order (Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014) - presumably targeting begging, street drinking and drug-taking. One local authority was in the news this week after enacting one banning camping in tents.

    * Touting or soliciting money on Railway, Underground or TfL premises is an offence under Section 7.2(ii) of the respective bye-laws. This covers begging, which is pervasive around the bus station.

    * Street drinking is illegal on the railway and bus station.

    * Begging can be prosecuted under the Vagrancy Act.

    The Police are absolutely not in the business of criminalising rough sleepers, and they actively offer help and signposting to appropriate services. However, if help is offered and they're still not taking it, perhaps some coercion is needed.

    I believe Camden had a policy a few years ago of arresting all beggars - with a quid pro quo of extra disposal routes for the offences of alcohol and drug rehabilitation.

  • Islington police have tweeted that 3 people from the SGR bridge area have been helped into supported accommodation. Not sure what's happened to the others who were sleeping there.
  • My chap was at court on Monday morning as a witness for the police in helping them to close down a drug dealing house/crack den on our road. Part of the clearance under the bridges was to do with that.
  • @miss annie: I assume this is where they've been spending much of the evening?
  • edited November 2017
    Definitely seen one or two of the women walking down our road in the day time. The flat they were all using has now been closed down and the tenant whose place was taken over has been removed and rehomed.
  • I have seen someone's council flat taken over by crackheads before, truly a terrifying prospect if you cannot defend yourself physically or mentally.
  • "The Police are absolutely not in the business of criminalising rough sleepers"

    *lists four ways to criminalise rough sleepers*
  • @Thirdeariespace none of those four relate directly to people sleeping rough, and could be applied to anyone committing those acts.
  • It appears that Islington ir the police have overinterpreted the complaints aboht the rubbish and have moved the homeless peoole out as well. Does anyone know what happened??
  • edited December 2017
  • One of the rough sleepers is my ex neighbour. He had a flat which he was evicted from as he kept dealing drugs. Leaving needles in the shared hallway where a little girl played. Terrorised my elderly neigbour. He was warned over three years including one death of overdose at his property he still uses and deals. I feel bad that in part we are responsible for him being homeless. But ultimately he chooses not to work and to take drugs.
  • I suspect, though not sure, that one of the sleepers reported to have taken a place at St Mungo is back under the bridge. If so, the problem is likely to be drugs isn't it? I imagine that if you are found using/dealing drugs at a St Mungo hostel, you'll be out again pretty fast. Understandably so. Rough in every sense. Lifestyle choice or lack of choice?
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