Comment on proposals to tackle begging and street drinking in Tooting

Published: Wednesday 7th December 16

The council is asking residents for their views on proposals to crack down on anti-social behaviour in Tooting.

Over the last 12 months there has been an increase in street drinking and begging in Tooting Town Centre. The council is proposing to bring in a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) covering Tooting and Graveney wards and part of Bedford.

PSPOs were brought in under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. It will mean the police are able to confiscate alcohol and give them more powers to deal with beggars and people behaving in an anti-social way.

The proposed PSPO would be used in conjunction with the existing policy of sending drug and alcohol outreach workers into the community to engage with street drinkers and encourage them to get treatment. The PSPO aims to target organised and aggressive begging, not homeless people. Those genuinely in need will receive help from the appropriate services.

Community services spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “We have heard local people’s complaints about an increase in anti-social behaviour in this part of the borough. Imposing a PSPO will give our community safety team and the police more powers to do something about persistent bad behaviour that is damaging the quality of life of people living in the area.

“But first we want to know what local residents and businesses think about the proposal, and I would urge anyone with a view to get in touch.”

Local businesses, schools, churches, London Underground, St George’s Hospital and other local people and organisations have been asked for their views.

Local residents who wish to comment can see more details here.

To have your say contact the council’s Community Safety Division by January 3.

Call (020) 8871 6254/8895


The area covered by the proposed PSPO

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Recent comments

Care must be taken to identify and help people who have become homeless,or have been sanctioned for no good reason by the benefits system or whose behaviour indicates need of psychiatric support. Definitions are so important as is a mind set of not being punitive where there are genuine problems. There must be an appeals system too Straightforward monetary penalties for begging therefore should not be introduced. Too much scope here for punishing the poor. Loutish behaviour by crowds of partygoers might be a suitable target for this measure howevero
Peter westland

10 January 2017

Hello ! Your article is very interesting, thanks for the information! I also went in London last summer and wrote an article about it on my website: Marianne

3 January 2017

Another unnecessary legal constraint on the people of the area - the police and other authorities have sufficient powers to deal with beggars and others who create problems for local residents and users of the area. This will allow the police to focus on easy wins instead of dealing with more serious crimes, such as burglary.

31 December 2016

While I agree with this totally I notice that Crowborough Road that is in the Graveney Ward is not included on the map! ( please include our Road) I am fed up with clearing beer cans and bottles from our wall left by drinkers at the Southcroft Road end of Crowborough Road, and as for the beggers I was approached by one while shopping in TK Max! I have lived in Tooting my whole life it used to be a pleasant place to live clean and safe, I do not feel it is either any more, something really needs to be done.

30 December 2016

I think it's a great idea and as a resident of the area I welcome the creation of a PSPO
SJ Millan

30 December 2016

I'd welcome all reasonable efforts that may result in an end to street drinking.In my experience street drinking inevitably leads to littering and antisocial behaviour (eg urinating in public) which is unpleasant and intimidating for pedestrians sharing pavements and footbridges in the identified area generally and specifically at Longley Road.
libby lawson

30 December 2016

What sort of behaviour does one expect in Sadiq Khan's area? - Slums are what they are used to. Sort it - get rid of the scavengers.
Liz D

30 December 2016

I think it is a disgrace that the mother and son living on a bench outside Tooting Library apparently can't be removed by the Council or police. They have been offered accommodation but prefer to remain living on a bench in all weathers. Where did they come from to descend on Tooting, first on a bench outside TK MAXX before the bench was removed and now outside the library? And do they intend to spend the rest of their lives living there? Action is needed here by someone urgently.

30 December 2016

I support this proposal. The volume of beer cans and bottles left sitting on walls, on kerbs and against walls/fences is unbelievable and all of these activities would work towards creating a culture where people drink at home or in a pub. I also agree that further work must be done to support the adults living on the bench outside the library, to be moved into the accommodation they have been given. Surely a civilised society cannot simply condone this... there is clearly some underlying problems.
Paul Robinson

30 December 2016

My experience relates to the area around Tooting Broadway station and the Tooting Town Centre area. We are saddened by the presence of people begging and sleeping rough in our community. We welcome more visible outreach with people begging and sleeping rough, but are alarmed by the language of 'crack down' on these vulnerable members of our community. In our experience, we have always been treated with politeness and courtesy by people begging when we have declined to offer any money. We understand that begging and homelessness is often linked to alcohol misuse, one of the hardest addictions to deal with, and this needs specialist support, and that the history of the people concerned is often tragic. We hope for sensitive help for them.
Gillian Samett

11 December 2016

I want the mother & son removed from the bench in front of Tooting Library. It is a disgrace - the numbers of boxes & bags surrounding them and the stench is disgusting. They do not beg - how do they pay for food? It is illegal for them to receive any benefits as they are of NFA!
Joyce Lorinstein

10 December 2016

On my street we 1bramlands close there are lots of street drinkers always empty bottles all over the please which is not right not only that but they urinet all over the place even by the main entry of our building bramlands court, i am a mother of 3young children and a regested childminder i work from home with young children all under 10years of age is not right for this people to be drinking out side of the building and doing drugs some time s i Dont feel safe let a lone my children, mothers have complen a Lott and its bad for my business. Please do something about this problem.
Mariama Jalloh

10 December 2016

I would also support this action, as I would feel safer. If it means they get help too then this is the best option
Ginny Attard

9 December 2016

I am very much fed up with this type of behaviour and support the action 100%.
Georgina Mackenzie

9 December 2016

I am most grateful that this is being done having been accosted lots of times, even being shouted at - particularly in Balham - for not giving money to people. some of it is very frightening. thank you for doing this.
Ursula Birt

9 December 2016

Whilst the perceived problem of begging relates to the town centre, the designated area will take in two large (Streatham and Lambeth Cemeteries) and two small (Fountain Rec and Tooting Gardens) green spaces where 'street' drinking and rough sleeping are the problems. How will a PSPO be effective in these parks and cemeteries? Who has authority to make it effective and will they visit these places as well as the town centre around the tube stations?
Geraldine Kelly

8 December 2016

Can this be extended to Clapham South Station?
M Bee

7 December 2016