Ukip councillor calls beggars '˜unwelcome detritus' in demand for police to remove '˜vagrants' from Portsmouth streets
A UKIP councillor has demanded the removal of homeless people from city streets and blasted them as '˜unwelcome detritus'.
Colin Galloway’s comments are contained in a motion due to be debated at Portsmouth City Council meeting on July 11.
It comes as the number of rough sleepers in the city has ballooned from eight in 2014 to 60 as of this May.
Cllr Galloway’s motion, backed by Cllr Stuart Potter, says Portsmouth ‘is no is no longer a welcoming city to either business or tourist because it seems we prefer to have vagrants’.
He added: ‘It is time to get our police and crime commissioner to put pressure on his police force to help us clean up this unwelcome detritus.
‘These beggars, vagrants, rough sleepers, homeless, troubled folks or whatever label you want to put on them must be removed from our city and placed in specific care whether they want to or not.
‘We have tried the soft approach and have found it wanting.’
A former member of Cllr Galloway’s party, independent councillor Paul Godier, has been made the council’s homelessness champion.
Speaking to The News, Cllr Godier said people needed to be treated with compassion – and Cllr Galloway needed to be educated on homeless people’s complex needs.
‘The approach must be very soft, it must be compassionate,’ he said.
‘We’re dealing with, in the majority of cases, broken adults, people who have not faith in local authority.’
He added: ‘I’ve listened to Colin Galloway and I asked for him to be on the homeless working group.
‘He even came on a walk with me but I think he needs to sit down and be educated on their complex needs.’
People are on the streets due to a range of problems, including childhood abuse, Cllr Godier said.