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Rough Sleepers Huge petition urges police not to target rough sleepers in Windsor Council

A PETITION urging Windsor Council and police not to target rough sleepers for the royal wedding has topped 230,000 signatures.

The Change.org petition was launched after Tory council leader Simon Dudley sparked an uproar with his call for the streets of Windsor to be cleared before the May 19 wedding.

He accused rough sleepers of “aggressive begging” and tarnishing Windsor’s image, saying the 1824 Vagrancy Act should be used to turf them out.

Londoner Holly Fishwick, who launched the petition, said that even more “horrific” than Mr Dudley’s comments was that the Act “does actually make rough sleeping and begging an offence.”

She said: “As long as such legislation is in place, police and policy makers like Simon Dudley will be able to treat rough sleeping as an issue of criminality, with the weight of the law behind them.

“In recent years, the Vagrancy Act 1824 has been used many times to threaten or arrest rough sleepers.“

She said she had been unable to contact Mr Dudley.

“Despite emailing his office, as well as tweeting him, he has yet to respond.

“Nevertheless, I’ve asked for a meeting so that I can deliver the petition and an open letter to him in person.”

Ms Fishwick wrote on the petition that she is demanding that the police force be withdrawn and that the local authorities provide long-term solutionssuch as accommodation and healthcare.

The petition can be found at mstar.link/WindsorHomeless.

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