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Are police criminalising homeless people for begging?

Sussex Police have been accused of criminalising homeless people who ask passers-by for money.

Almost seven hundred beggars in the county have been prosecuted in the last five years.

Critics say taking the homeless to court makes life even more difficult for them, costs money and rarely stops the problem.

But police say they only arrest those who are a nuisance to the public.

Malcolm Shaw spoke to Jason Knight, who campaigns for the homeless, and Supt James Collis of Sussex Police.

How safe are you from becoming homeless?

As most of us look forward to a cosy Christmas at home with family and friends, there are others who'll spend it alone and on the streets.

Now, a charity in Sussex has released a hard-hitting film, showing just how quickly someone can become homeless.

The Brighton Housing Trust says more people in the city are sleeping rough than ever before. Malcolm Shaw spoke to the charity's Chief Executive, Andy Winter.


Bournemouth station blasted with 'bad' music to drive away rough sleepers

High-pitched songs by children's cartoon band Alvin and the Chipmunks are being played all night long at Bournemouth's main bus and train station - in an attempt to drive away rough sleepers.

The council and police had previously played bagpipe music over the tannoy at Bournemouth Travel Interchange to stop homeless people congregating.

The decision to play 'annoying' songs has been controversial amongst local residents. More than 4,000 people have signed a petition calling for the plug to be pulled.

Watch Sam Holder's report below:

Interviewees: Carla Johnson (petition organiser), Cllr David Smith (Bournemouth Borough Council), Paul Noblet (Centrepoint homeless charity)

The sound of the bagpipes and high-pitched Chipmunks aimed at people sleeping rough

Homeless people are being deterred from sleeping rough at a bus and railway station in Bournemouth - they are being subjected to bagpipes music and high-pitched songs by the Chipmunks.

A petition against the scheme has been signed by nearly 4,000 people, who say the homeless should be offered help and not subjected to bagpipes or the Chipmunks.

The local council says the move is designed to target anti-social behaviour.


Summit to tackle homeless crisis in Brighton

Brighton's homeless crisis has reached unprecedented levels, according to a new report by the city's housing Trust.

Over the past year almost 600 people have been reported sleeping rough in the city - many on the streets, some in makeshift tents, others in upturned boats, even in bins.

Now the newly elected council has announced a summit to discuss the issue - while the Trust itself has called for ambitious new measures to confront the crisis. Andy Dickenson reports.

Homeless man jailed for life for murdering friend

A homeless man who brutally murdered a friend in a church porch after a drinking session was today jailed for life.

Ruslan Piktorov - who must serve a minimum 18 years of his sentence - launched the savage attack on 57-year-old Trevor Hillman in Headcorn last October.

He was sentenced today after changing his plea to guilty.

From Maidstone Crown Court, Derek Johnson reports.

Homeless charity 'comes of age'

A unique charity set up to tackle homelessness came of age today. Emmaus, at Portslade in Sussex, is celebrating 18 years of helping people sleeping rough to get their lives back on track. The project provides somewhere to stay in return for work ..... a combination which has proved so successful that branches have opened across the country, including Kent. Malcolm Shaw reports.

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