Homeless Should Not Be Arrested Just Because They Stink, Tory Minister Says


The Conservative Party’s attempt to criminalize homelessness hit a bit of a speedbump recently when it was noticed that a provision of their bill allowed for arresting people based on their smell. The Education Secretary said she disagreed with that particular provision. A “bold move”, coming out against that particular provision of the government’s Criminal Justice Bill, which is inching its way through Parliament.

Widespread ridicule yet again for the Tories, which is all they really care about, and certainly not the homeless.

Source: Sky News

People should not be arrested “just if they smell” the education secretary has said.

Gillian Keegan was asked about the matter as Tory MPs seek to strip the provision to detain someone based on odour from the government‘s Criminal Justice Bill, which is inching its way through parliament.

Under the bill, it is proposed police or local authorities will be able to issue “nuisance begging directions” to move people on, and if they do not comply they face a month in prison.

The odour issue though was brought up again.

The legislation cites “excessive smells” as a form of “damage” for which someone can be issued with an order.

The government has not indicated if it supports changing the bill, but Ms Keegan told Sky News she did not agree with the principles it laid out.

Asked if people should be arrested if they smell, Ms Keegan said: “Well, no, people should not be arrested just if they smell.”

Asked why the provision has been put in the bill, the education secretary said she had not “looked at the detail of it”.

She added: “I guess the word is excessive, and I don’t know what they mean, but it’s really about making sure that we support people – but also we make sure that people feel safe on our streets… and it’s a pleasant environment.”





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