Southend could become the first place in Britain to install lockers for rough sleepers to store their belongings.You have got to be kidding me!
The project, headed by Quiller Hawkins of Solidarity Lockers UK, has taken inspiration from a similar scheme in Lisbon.
ACA Portugal, which is behind the yellow metal cabinets, is now working in partnership with Mr Hawkins. He came up with the idea after speaking to a homeless person who had their guitar stolen. The lockers, which could soon be installed in Southend town centre, will allow people who are homeless to store their belongings safely - reducing the risk of them being robbed and allowing them to own more clothes than they can carry.Southend is already far too attractive to beggars and homeless drug addicts, thanks to the proximity to London & the antics of group like Harp, which exist solely to ensure that shopkeepers have to shoo beggars away when they open up in the morning.
The lockers will also have an address, as they come equipped with a letter box - meaning that the person using it can register with the NHS and get allocated a National Insurance number.Not necessarily their own, either!
Mr Hawkins is drawing up plans for the project alongside Mark Flewitt, Tory councillor for housing, planning and sustainability. Mr Flewitt said: “I am optimistic that any measure, soft or otherwise, if it starts giving people some dignity it will encourage people to try harder and, more importantly, the authorities to try harder.
“If we help one or two people then it could make a huge difference to their lives, as they will feel like they are being paid attention to.”The only people that should be 'paying attention to them' is the police. Begging should be dealt with like any other crime, zero tolerance.
Mr Flewitt told the Echo he has not yet formally taken the idea to Southend Council as he and Mr Hawkins believe it is best to publicise the idea first and gauge reaction from the community.Of course, the only 'community' that'll actually be listened to will be the tiny minority of SJWs and charities employing people to ensure these people are carefully farmed like sheep...