England: Bagpipes used to deter homeless people from sleeping at bus station

Bournemouth travel interchangeAn English local authority has come under fire for blaring bagpipe music during the night in a bid to deter homeless people from sleeping rough at a railway and bus station.

The BBC reports that almost 4,000 people have signed a petition against the measure, which was introduced last month by Bournemouth Borough Council at the town’s travel interchange.

The music, which is played between midnight and 06:30, has been branded “disgusting” by several signatories.

Petitioner Carla Johnson said it was “in no way a solution” and said homeless people should be offered help.

Ms Johnson said: “At a time of year when the weather is becoming increasingly cold and wet, Bournemouth council should be finding a solution to help the homeless in our town, not to drive them away.

“Playing loud music at the interchange is in no way a solution as it will simply move the homeless people on to another area in the town.”

The borough council said the music was “one tiny part of the wider approach” which includes working with agencies such as the police.

David Smith, from Bournemouth Borough Council, said the authority provides “a wide range of specialist support services”, including a “rough sleeper team” which he said helped to move 61 people off the streets into accommodation, both locally and elsewhere, in the past quarter.

Mr Smith added that the council also works to address additional needs, such drug and alcohol or mental health issues.

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