Homeless people are jailed and fined £1,000 as councils crack down on rough sleepers

Homeless people are being handed large fines and even jailed as councils crack down on begging and rough sleeping, an investigation has found.

More than 50 local authorities are using ‘Public Space Protection Orders’ to crack down on rough sleeping, the Guardian reports.

In one shocking case, a man was fined £105 after a child dropped a £2 coin into his sleeping bag.

Local authorities have continued to use PSPOs despite Home Office guidance issued at the start of this year.

At least 51 people have been given fines of up to £1,000 for breaching a PSPO since 2014, the Guardian reports.

Rosie Brighouse of Liberty, said: ‘We warned from the start that PSPOs were far too broad and ripe for misuse by over-zealous councils wanting to sweep inconveniences off their streets.

‘Now we see dozens of local authorities using them to target marginalised groups and fine people for being poor.’

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A survey by the Manifesto Club found 79 councils have used Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) to ban activities judged to have a ‘detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality’ since they came into force in October 2014.

The civil liberties group said 130 PSPOs have been issued by councils, including 12 bans on loitering or congregating in groups, nine bans on swearing, three on face coverings, and two on aggressive or assertive charity collection.

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Kettering Borough Council has banned under-18s from an area of town between the hours of 11pm and 8am, effectively putting in place a curfew.

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