Council accused of social cleansing as homeless face threat of £1,000 fines

Homeless people could be hit with fines of up to £1,000 for sleeping rough in parts of east London.

Hackney Council is tackling anti-social behaviour linked to persistent rough sleeping and begging.

Areas including Hackney Downs, London Fields, Broadway Market, Mare Street and Regents Canal will be covered by the new Public Space protection order.

Critics accuse the council of 'social cleansing'.

London Fields in Hackney Credit: PA

The order allows police or council officers to stop any of the following:

  • Begging

  • Drinking alcohol

  • Loitering and causing ASB. This includes being in a group drinking, swearing, shouting and intimidating others

  • Misusing a public toilet, including taking drugs

  • Sleeping rough in doorways or other public places

Any breach of the order can result in a £100 fixed penalty notice or being taken to court and receiving a fine of up to £1,000.

Speaking to the Hackney Citizen, resident Guy Aitchison said: