None of us should be criminalised for experiencing homelessness

06 Feb 2024

Tell your MP:
None of us should be criminalised for experiencing homelessness

Legs in a doorway

The UK Government is considering new laws that would once again criminalise people for begging or sleeping on the streets.

We believed we had seen the back of this cruel approach with the long overdue repeal of the archaic Vagrancy Act in 2022.

If passed, the Criminal Justice Bill would mean people across England and Wales could face fines, a criminal record, or even a prison sentence for so-called ‘nuisance rough sleeping’ or begging.

The Bill says someone could be considered a ‘nuisance’ even if they simply ‘look like they are intending to’ sleep rough. We believe this vague wording will be used to punish people who pose no danger to anyone else, and simply have nowhere else to go.

The fact that homelessness persists in 2024 is a failure of politics, by UK Government, Welsh Government, and local authorities.

Would you support a new law which could criminalise people sleeping on the streets with a fine up to £2,500? We think this is a disproportionate and unrealistic measure.

This Bill will do nothing to help end homelessness in the UK. Instead, it will simply punish those who have been failed by a system that should be keeping us all safe.

The Bill is being debated in the UK Parliament right now. Together, we can stop these plans – but we need MPs across all parties to speak out against it.

Take action

Our friends at Crisis are leading calls for these proposals to be scrapped. At The Wallich, we support the calls stop the Criminal Justice Bill.

Crisis have developed a handy tool to find your local MP, and have provided an email template to share our concerns.

Will you email your MP asking them to help stop these cruel and unnecessary plans?

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