2:15 AM / Monday July 4, 2022

12 Apr 2014

London targets its homeless population

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
April 12, 2014 Category: Diaspora Posted by:

The UK capital, long known across Europe for its compassion for the homeless, has now lost its empathy…


By Wendell P. Simpson

A UK charity and social workers who work with migrants, immigrants and refugees have recently condemned the London Metropolitan Police and homeless charities for targeting foreign homeless people on the capital’s streets.


City police working in concert with the UK Border Agency (UKBA), city councils and the aforementioned charities have launched controversial operations to round up ‘rough sleepers’ in the city–particularly in the tourist destinations around Central London. Many of the homeless have been issued ASBOs (Anti-Social Behavior Orders). In one incident, the police seized the sleeping bags and food from a homeless encampment; others foreigners seeking refuge in London have been issued orders to leave the country.

As UK citizens have access to financial assistance from the government when issues of homelessness arise, the bulk of the city’s current rough sleeper population are foreigners seeking asylum; a great many of them today have arrived from the problem area of Crimea, where issues of autonomy have arisen in the former Soviet Union.

Operation Encompass, one of the city’s round-up campaigns, began during the winter, covering the London boroughs of Camden, Croydon, Islington, Lambeth, Southwark and Westminster, where the Parliament building and Big Ben are located.  Another project targeting the homeless, known as Operation Alabama, has been cleaning out homeless settlements in the London borough of Newham, a middle class enclave in East London.

A representative from the Refugee and Migrant Forum of Essex and London (RAMFEL) has criticized the London city government and the London Metropolitan Police for unlawfully targeting refugees and other destitute people with legitimate political and financial problems.

“Our biggest concern at the moment,” says Rita Chadha, head of RAMFEL, “ is that the mainstream charities are actually pushing people who haven’t got permission to be in the country, and in their attempt to get them off the streets, into the auspices of the Border Agency who will deport them. Many of these people have fled situations in which their lives are at risk—and we don’t think homeless charities should be doing this.”

Lynn Yamashita, an American social worker currently working for the London borough of Waltham Forest, agrees.

“The homeless charities should be there to help people,” says Yamashita.”They don’t understand enough about immigration or the geo-political forces that create these issues for refugees. And they don’t typically know enough about immigration to be medling in it—and meddling in a dangerous way. We think they’re more in tune with furthering the government’s agenda than actually doing the work of protecting a vulnerable population and addressing real concerns.”

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News


Just the beginning

July 1, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email Over 150,000 people from around the country participated in the Mass Poor Peoples...


The fine print

July 1, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email While we do need to pay attention to Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s...


Community College of Philadelphia to pay off $1.4 million in outstanding student account balances

June 17, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email Community College of Philadelphia announced that it will pay off more than $1.4...

Color Of Money

Americans still have financial goals, just not sure how they will reach them

June 24, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT If you have a vision for where you’d like to be financially...


Takeaways: Trump’s mind ‘made up’ on fraud ahead of Jan. 6

June 17, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: A video exhibit plays as the House select committee investigating the...

Go With The-Flo

Sherri Shepherd’s talk show, “Sherri,” to air in place of former “The Wendy Williams Show”

June 17, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Sherri Shepherd (Photo: s_bukley / Shutterstock) By Flo Anthony After 13...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff