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Beggary in Civic

By 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?

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

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.

indigoid 10:05 am
09 Jul 10
#2

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

dtc 10:08 am
09 Jul 10
#3

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.

la mente torbida 10:14 am
09 Jul 10
#4

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.

sitnoir 10:18 am
09 Jul 10
#5

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…

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

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.

You 10:30 am
09 Jul 10
#7

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

MsCheeky 10:35 am
09 Jul 10
#8

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.

Ronnie 10:46 am
09 Jul 10
#9

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.

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

BimboGeek 10:54 am
09 Jul 10
#11

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.

lindt 11:04 am
09 Jul 10
#12

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.

facet 11:28 am
09 Jul 10
#13

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.

colourful sydney rac 11:34 am
09 Jul 10
#14

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.

Holden Caulfield 11:40 am
09 Jul 10
#15

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.

colourful sydney rac 11:45 am
09 Jul 10
#16

interesting thought on this topic – if said beggars were offering a service in exchange for a donation eg shoe shining, would peoples views be different?

sepi 11:53 am
09 Jul 10
#17

I used to feel sorry for them and hand over a coin, but once I started to work in civic I lost all sympathy. Lunchtime is now a sad experience of running the gauntlet between the festy beggars and the mad handcream sales women, and the over enthusiastic charity workers.

Sadly staying inside the top level of the Canberra centre is the only way to be left alone.

punkarella 11:57 am
09 Jul 10
#18

I think I hate the WWF and Amnesty international bugging me every 5 mins more than some crackhead zombie…

They are very cunning..spot you like a hawk and they don’t want your change anymore, they want your bank account number. They are the real problem with Civic.

54-11 11:58 am
09 Jul 10
#19

Jeez, colourful, you having a bad day or something?

Le Rouge et le Noir 12:01 pm
09 Jul 10
#20

I’ve had the same guy approach me with the same story (a combination of his car needing petrol and something about a bus…)

I’ve had the same guy in Dickson and unfortunately I believed his sob story and gave him some money. He had been insistent that he’d pay me back and gave me a name and phone number but for some reason his phone always goes to voicemail…..

As ‘Holden Caufield’ said above, it made me angry not so much about that I was duped or about the money just that this individual is still out there with the same lies. I can only hope that karma (or the police) catch up with him soon.

colourful sydney rac 12:12 pm
09 Jul 10
#21

54-11 said :

Jeez, colourful, you having a bad day or something?

:)

Sure am, some down and outer asked me for spare change this morning and I am still so full of rage I can’t calm down.

Dracon388 12:22 pm
09 Jul 10
#22

As above with everyone else – ocassionally I give them shrappers.

But seeing the same people in Civic/Woden for the past 4 years you lose caring.

And the one lady who I gave change to to then ask if she could have the $5 sticking out of my wallet broke it for me – I work day in day out for my money – and I’m half your age. Seriously.

I’ll pay buskers who are good, atleast they’re working for it rather then sitting down repeating the phrase “spare any change” while having a smoke.

Muttsybignuts 12:25 pm
09 Jul 10
#23

“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.”

Could you tell us his particular grift? Might help if the CivicSuperBludgers try something similar.

wherestarzan 12:32 pm
09 Jul 10
#24

Hmmm, I usually try to buy a ‘Big Issue’ from one of the civic sellers each week but tend not to give people spare change. I’m more annoyed by the handcream and charity sellers in civic chasing me down because I’m carrying a shopping bag or two. One charity guy even berated me for shopping for myself when I wouldn’t support his charity. That was the last time I stopped for any charity.

la mente torbida 12:33 pm
09 Jul 10
#25

If you have an issue, just tell them you gave them some money yesterday

Snarky 12:46 pm
09 Jul 10
#26

Agreed with all above who get frustrated with the “beggars”. I just say no and don’t give anything any more either.

If they’re frauds, as I’m sure many of them are, then even if they do manage to con a few bucks so that they’ve “won”, their life must be pretty ordinary if it’s a “win” worth having. Yeah, I might have “lost” and be out a few coins, but at the end of the day I still have a home, family, meal and bed to go to. In the end it’s no loss at all and I’ve learnt something for next time.

My money goes to the Salvo’s these days.

troll-sniffer 12:56 pm
09 Jul 10
#27

The only ‘beggar’ who has scored any of my hard-earned (well easy-earned but hard-earned sounds better) cash in the last 5 years was a young backpacker chick who accosted me and said she would sing me a song for a dollar. She said she had had her backpack stolen and was trying to get a bus fare to Sydney where her friends would help her out.

So she sang me a song and got $20.00, $1 for the song, and $19.00 being the money I had saved by not giving in to the lowlife scum druggies over the previous few months.

Who knows perhaps I got conned but I don’t think so, I never saw her again, so I’m assuming she did get on a bus and off to Sydney as promised.

fgzk 12:58 pm
09 Jul 10
#28

“I can only hope that karma (or the police) catch up with him soon.”

I am not sure what you get for wishing bad karma on the poor.

Recently I saw I boy begging for bus fair late at night. This old feller gave him a mouthful of abuse. The last I saw of the boy he was begging the bus driver to let him on without a fare. You just never know.

jackal 1:08 pm
09 Jul 10
#29

sepi said :

I used to feel sorry for them and hand over a coin, but once I started to work in civic I lost all sympathy. Lunchtime is now a sad experience of running the gauntlet between the festy beggars and the mad handcream sales women, and the over enthusiastic charity workers.

Sadly staying inside the top level of the Canberra centre is the only way to be left alone.

Only if they didn’t charge more than a thrupence for their services.

Moose 1:17 pm
09 Jul 10
#30

Sure, the “bums” on the street are just a tad bit annoying in some cases. My solution: Carry around some snack bars. Ever heard of the guy that swapped the paper clip for a house?

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