A police force has caused uproar on social media over its description of homelessness

Homelessness in Camden and the Met logo
Steve Topple

A police force has invoked the wrath of people on social media after appearing to imply that homelessness is an “environmental” issue.

Wait, what…?

Camden Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) took to Twitter on 14 August to announce it had done a “clean up” operation at Tottenham Mews in Fitzrovia, London. It claimed it was an ‘environmental issue’. But what Camden MPS were actually ‘cleaning up’ looked like homeless people’s worldly possessions:

Camden MPS’s tweet left people unimpressed:

Then the tweet was noticed by more and more social media users:

This is not the first time the authorities in Camden have come under fire for their treatment of homeless people. As The Canary previously reported, campaigners accused the police and the Labour-led council of “barbaric” behaviour after removing rough sleepers’ tents and moving them on from the canal side in Camden.

Camden MPS told the Camden New Journal at the time:

[We] do not want to criminalise people for being homeless. Our aim is to help the many vulnerable people who live on the streets by attempting engagement and offering diversion options… Any enforcement action that is undertaken is only used when people refuse to engage and have refused diversion on at least two occasions.

Homelessness: out of control

Meanwhile, the catastrophe for homeless people and rough sleepers continues across the country. As The Canary‘s Nye Jones wrote recently:

On 12 August, the government announced its rough sleeping plan. And it’s a truly pitiful response to England’s rough sleeping crisis, with no new money being promised and no reforms of punitive welfare policies.

The government says this is part of its strategy to end rough sleeping by 2027…

Homeless deaths have more than doubled in the last five years, with rough sleeping now reaching crisis levels.

The government is seemingly wringing its hands over the crisis. Police forces compound the issue if they use irresponsible and damaging rhetoric. Homelessness and rough sleeping is a catastrophe that should shame our public servants. Instead they just make matters worse.

Get Involved!

– Support housing campaigns like Focus E15London Renters UnionGreater Manchester Housing ActionACORNStreets KitchenBalfron Social ClubSave Our Homes LS26Ledbury Action Group, and Generation Rent.

Featured image via Peeper – Wikimedia and Camden MPS – screengrab

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