B1511–Vagrancy Bill 2019 Watch
Not sure what's happened to the formatting but I support this bill to repeal Victorian and pre-Victorian laws on homelessness, as well as to introduce a more sensible approach to food abandoned in bins.
Nay, as Connor illustrated begging fuels shame culture, and that instead we should be promoting donation to homeless charities. Although the bill mentions harassing begging will remain illegal, it would just be much easier to keep begging illegal all together.
Why? IMO there's a significant difference between passively begging for money and actively going up to people and asking for it. The first is harmless to passers-by and I don't see any reason why it should be illegal.
I just think that charity is a much more effective way of helping the homeless and that the government should promote that instead. Again, begging fuels shame culture which can make life harder for homeless people if people act on the negative feelings they have for beggars.
criminalising homelessness does not prevent homelessness and homeless people are not worried about breaking the law - said any homeless person who's ever stolen or bought/used drugs. we can't 'shame' a homeless person into becoming a law-abiding citizen - not when the choice is between their own survival and death. many homeless people commit crimes specifically for the purposes of going to prison as prison provides food and a warm bed, thus prison does not act as a punishment or a deterrent. personally i would rather spend what money we do have on education and keeping kids in school.
1) Allowing homeless people not to be arrested does not solve the initial cause of why they are homeless and weakens police powers to remove these people. Begging i admit should be legal (if somebody wants to chuck a quid on the floor, that should not be an offense on public property).
Instead of making being homeless legal (especially when these people are likely to have drink and drunk problems), you should use part of the infrastructure cheque i wrote to build temporary accommodation for these people and then use police powers to forcibly move them to these premises where they can be forced to go cold turkey and have an address with which to claim welfare and improve their lives.
The liberal attitude in this bill to simply leaving them on the streets is yet another symbol of societal degeneration and the lack of morality at the heart of this government.
2) While i am somewhat sympathetic to removing this since the crime of being drunk and disorderly still remains i am not convinced by your argument in the notes as it could still be of some use.
I would likely defer to the former Justice Secretary on this point.
3) While i have no real objection to people taking a packet of bread from a public bin or a landfill site, the fact here is that supermarket bins for example are private property (probably also sitting on private property). While the police should probably not charge people if indeed the items are just headed to landfill or recycling, it is also possible that people like Tesco are being paid for those items to at least recoup some costs. A very murky grey area and not one which you have adequately legislated for in this bill.
A superior solution is to insert a provision highlighting that only bins on public property may be exempt.