I AM horrified and somewhat puzzled by the attitude of Poole council to consider fining the homeless. Where are they supposed to get the money from to pay the fine? This is a futile task.

I know that the public are 'conned' by many who beg who don't need to and therefore we are all wary - and some on the streets are very belligerent and threatening - but equally there are some who are genuine and need help.

I came across two such people on Monday.

One an ex-serviceman who is being helped with accommodation by SSAFA in a month's time but who has nowhere to stay till then.

He was collecting money in the hope he could save enough to buy four nights' stay in one of the homeless shelters.

The other, a teenager who had had an argument at home the previous night.

He had stayed in a stairwell overnight and was extremely hungry and cold.

As many parents will know, this could happen to anyone.

There must be a way to separate the fraudsters from the genuine who need help.

They cannot get jobs till they have an address so it is a vicious circle.

The decent ones too are easy prey to attacks.


Uplands Road, Bournemouth