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Beggary in Civic

By PaulM - 9 July 2010 79

I’d vote for anyone who offers to do something about public begging.

A driver behind the privatisation of our public spaces is that in the Canberra Centre, strangers aren’t going to approach you and ask for money.

Jesus – what are you doing here in Civic, if you are so short of cash that you need to beg for the bus fare home?

Shouldn’t you have just stayed there?

What’s Your opinion?


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79 Responses to
Beggary in Civic
1
colourful sydney rac 9:55 am
09 Jul 10
#

And, what, pray tell, do you suggest is done about begging?

How about making poverty illegal and throwing beggars in jail – sounds like a senisble cheap option?

How about wasting police resources by getting them to move beggars on?

How about putting them in stocks and letting upstanding citizens like you throw rotten fruit at them?

You know what princess? A pretty simple solution for you, if you don’t want to give them money you can just say “no”. Seriously HTFU.

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2
indigoid 10:05 am
09 Jul 10
#

Staying at home isn’t going to pay for their addictions

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3
dtc 10:08 am
09 Jul 10
#

Seriously its an issue for you? I mean, I am pretty sure most ‘beggars’ are out for extra money rather than money to survive on (presumably they all receive some form of govt benefit), so I never give them any. But its not really a problem is it?

Go to India or SE Asia and witness real beggars. Then come home and the Canberra try hards will cause you no issue whatsoever.

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4
la mente torbida 10:14 am
09 Jul 10
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Does it make any difference to you that the fact is that most of the social welfare agencies are located in Civic?

Bah humbug, you scrooge.

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5
sitnoir 10:18 am
09 Jul 10
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I’ve had the same guy approach me with the same story (a combination of his car needing petrol and something about a bus…) around 3 times now, within the last month. And on one of those occasions I was in the process of using an ATM, so he proceeded to invade my personal space and tried to peer over my shoulder to see what I was doing, then asking if I could get some cash out for him. Asking for change is one thing, but requesting $20 like you have some right to it, is a bit much.

I’m not going to lie though, I’ve found it amusing that he’s come up to me 3 times with the same story and expected I’d believe it. Obviously he’s not good with faces…

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6
A Noisy Noise Annoys 10:20 am
09 Jul 10
#

Here’s a warning to anybody approaching Woden Plaza from the Corinna St entry. That dirty, drunken, unshaven aboriginal bloke is back begging. He gave us all a break for a while. As soon as you see him cross to the other side of the street and, if approached, tell him to f*** off.

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7
You 10:30 am
09 Jul 10
#

I always like asking them, before they have the chance to ask me, if they could spare a few coins…

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8
MsCheeky 10:35 am
09 Jul 10
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I work in Civic, in the middle of Garema Place. I am approached every day, often multiple times per day, from people wanting money and cigarettes. It’s the same people over and over.

I think indigoid (no. 2) has it right, that most of them are feeding addictions. It’s very different to third world countries where most beggars are looking to feed themselves, and do not have government assistance.

I continue to give a polite no in response, but I do get sick of being approached.

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9
Ronnie 10:46 am
09 Jul 10
#

I was approached by a beggar some time ago in Petrie Plaze. He asked me for money so that he could eat as he claimed that he hadn’t eaten for three days. I sincerely offered to take him to the Canberra Centre to get him some hot food at the food court. He declined and said that he didn’t want to. I repeated my offer and he told me to go f*ck myself. Thanks champ, nice one.

I don’t mind if there are legitimate beggars – I like to try to help – but not the sort of idiots that walk around Civic spitting everywhere and abusing people when they are ignored.

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10
colourful sydney rac 10:47 am
09 Jul 10
#

If the people who get so distressed about beggars asking them for money had any real understanding of the horrors of mental illness and the desparation of drug addiction they would not get their panties in a bunch over a couple of small coins.

If you want to get upset about something, get upset about the super rich minimising their tax and ripping us all off rather than the lees fortunate asking you for a couple of bucks *sheesh*

If someone asking you for money is the worst thing that happens to you today, you are having a pretty damn good day.

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11
BimboGeek 10:54 am
09 Jul 10
#

Dark clothes. Dark glasses. Look through them like they don’t exist.

Even if they make a half-hearted attempt to approach, they won’t pursue.

Works best if you’re genuinely willing to support whatever really works to keep people off drugs and in a positive position in society. I try to support education for the less well-off.

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12
lindt 11:04 am
09 Jul 10
#

I’m going to mark myself as terribly naive here, but does no-one feel sorry for the beggars? It’s Canberra, it’s winter and it’s bloody freezing even with a coat, hot lunch and warm house to go home to. I don’t know that their story is. I don’t know whether they’re truly homeless and desperate or if they’re just there to feed an addiction. But with homelessness and mental illness a problem across Canberra and all of Australia, my initial reaction sure isn’t anger or annoyance.

I wish I knew what to do – I don’t have so much money that I’d want to give any to someone wanting their next drink or fix but I would happily give someone who needed it a hot meal if they were really hungry.

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13
facet 11:28 am
09 Jul 10
#

I have worked in Civic on the streets (watering and caring for plants)for over two years. Could the drug dealer who delivers product in Glebe Park (by appointment only) please stop throwing his empty Bourbon and Coke cans into the flower beds.
I have watched organised groups of beggars meet up near the Merry-go-round for a workplace meeting. They looked sane and well organised to me. As did the pair of lowlifes who used to follow young backpackers waiting for them to take their eyes off their gear.
Never (in nearly two years) did I see police walking through Civic during business hours; so maybe they are also by appointment.

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14
colourful sydney rac 11:34 am
09 Jul 10
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facet said :

Never (in nearly two years) did I see police walking through Civic during business hours; so maybe they are also by appointment.

You must have been walking around with your eyes shut.

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15
Holden Caulfield 11:40 am
09 Jul 10
#

lindt said :

I’m going to mark myself as terribly naive here, but does no-one feel sorry for the beggars? It’s Canberra, it’s winter and it’s bloody freezing even with a coat, hot lunch and warm house to go home to. I don’t know that their story is. I don’t know whether they’re truly homeless and desperate or if they’re just there to feed an addiction. But with homelessness and mental illness a problem across Canberra and all of Australia, my initial reaction sure isn’t anger or annoyance.

I wish I knew what to do – I don’t have so much money that I’d want to give any to someone wanting their next drink or fix but I would happily give someone who needed it a hot meal if they were really hungry.

I dare say a number of people would actually share your view. I know I do. However, there appears to be plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that many beggars in Civic (for example) don’t care two hoots about scoring their next meal. I think it’s a different type of score they are sometimes after.

I remember getting conned by a guy in London many years ago while I was waiting for a train. It got me really angry, not so much that I “fell for it” and lost a few quid, but more that this particular individual was so conniving and calculated with his methods of seeking money. It’s one of the few times in my life I’ve wanted to inflict physical harm on someone. I’m not necessarily proud of that fact either, it must be said.

I certainly understand csri’s point in post #10, but I can also understand the average punter’s frustration with being approached time and time again with bullshit stories. If that creativity and application was used in better endeavours — like a bit of self-respect, for a start — then maybe those down on their luck might make the first steps to getting out of what may very well be some dark and difficult times.

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