City centre issues involving rough sleepers, beggars and street drinkers have worsened over recent years
The police have taken some action to tackle these issues however everybody agrees that the solutions require us to go much wider than a policing activities.
In addressing this issue, it is important to be clear that not all of the people involved are homeless or seeking settled lifestyles it is also necessary to differentiate between people who are in distress and those who are merely criminal particularly in relation to aggressive begging. It is also important to recognise the fear that the behaviour of some of this community generate in vulnerable residents and visitors.
Anti-social behaviour from beggars is a drain on Police resources.
There is an ongoing programme of outreach work seeking to meet the accommodation problems of this community and the problems of untreated mental illness, addiction and substance abuse which often underpin them.
It is important to note that the Julian House hostel does not charge so beggars claiming to need money for staying there are seeking money for another purpose
Beggars often have dogs, some as companions, but many because it increases their ability to generate money. However, many of the housing projects in Bath accommodate people with dogs.
TARA regularly has discussions with the agencies working with the street community and is pushing to achieve better funding for and coordination of this work