The observation wheel at Marble Arch, with its 24 hour security, has had the effect of displacing some of our regular problem beggars, our community protection officers report. A group of 30 East European rough sleepers had moved under the Westway, but for the last couple of nights outreach groups have found they have moved on.
As we know, these are not genuinely homeless people. They have homes elsewhere in Europe and do not respond to offers of hostel places here because it is more lucrative to camp on streets near the begging hotspots like Edgware Road. For the future, plans are in place, with the support of several charities, to impost public space protection orders against groups engaged in street-based anti-social behaviour.