Help homeless people, don’t criminalise them, say Greens

The Green Party has condemned Labour’s plans for a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) across the city centre, condemning them as ‘muddled thinking’ which will fail to help local residents or businesses. The proposals could lead to the confiscation of sleeping bags and personal items and ultimately lead to the criminalisation of homeless people unable to pay a fine. Tom Milburn, Exeter Green Party candidate in Newton and St Leonard’s ward said:

“Someone sleeping rough in the city is very vulnerable and, if forced away from the relative ‘protection’ of the City Centre, is more at risk of health problems and even death. The Police already have powers, such as Criminal Behaviour Orders, to tackle rowdy and dangerous city centre behaviour. The Police will need to give time and money to enforcing these new proposals – resources that could be given to more serious crimes than sleeping or going for a wee in the wrong place.”

Greens point to the efforts that have recently gone into investing in and reconfiguring local support for the homeless services. Tom said:

“The focus of the Council should now be to enable the street homeless and vulnerable to access this help. The city’s Street Homeless Outreach Team may well find the 25-50 individuals who will end up as the target of this Order become more widely dispersed due to the planned PSPO.  The Order would hinder this Team’s important work to locate and help homeless people access useful agencies.”

Diana Moore, lead Green Party candidate for St David’s ward, said:

“Green councillors will invest in more social and council housing, support positive plans to help homeless people and common sense measures such as proper neighbourhood policing. We want to work constructively with rough sleepers, for example, on the removal of bedding by a certain time in the morning.”


Read Exeter Green Party’s reponse to the PSPO here

The Council is consulting on their plans until 29th February see


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