The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead announced plans to introduce 100 pound (some $140) fines for rough sleeping within several months. The decision was announced in the lead up to the Royal wedding between Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle scheduled for May.
"It doesn't make any sense, does it? I mean you're fining somebody who has no money to pay, so they'll be taken to court and of course the fine will be increased, the person convicted, sent to prison and just end up in exactly the same position they're in now … It's gone from the already ridiculous to the even more ridiculous scenario of expecting a fine to suddenly make people disappear from the streets. It's disgraceful," James said.
In addition, many experts link the problem to the changes to welfare laws made by the UK government in 2013. People living in social housing had their housing benefits cut by 14 percent if they had a spare bedroom, or by 25 percent if they had two or more, thus creating a hostile environment for homeless people.
A report released last August from the homeless charity Crisis also confirmed a deteriorating situation, with rough sleeping predicted to increase by 76 percent over the next decade if appropriate remedies are not introduced.
The views and opinions expressed by the contributors do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.