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Beggers in FH

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Joined 15-07-2005
Posted on Friday, 23 June, 2006 - 12:55 pm:   

Hi, it seems to me that there are a lot of beggers around FH in the last few days.
Most of them seem drug addicts to me.
One of them has approached few times in different places in SE London, telling me the story that she needs to get somewhere and need some spare cash. She even rang my bell a couple of times when I used to live in Sydenham.
Now, perhaps I am not a nice person, but I am against giving cash for drug use.
Do you guys have experienced anything like this?
Joined 30-03-2005
Posted on Friday, 23 June, 2006 - 01:04 pm:   

Sounds like the person who got on the train from Forest Hill to Charing Cross last Friday and asked people in the carriage for money.
Joined 24-03-2004
Posted on Friday, 23 June, 2006 - 01:33 pm:   

Some Scottish bloke asked for money outside the station but this is a first.
If you don't give them any then they will go somewhere else, simple as that. Yet there is always some idiot who does.
There is one bloke who appears on trains out of London Bridge with monotonous regularity and tiresomely repeats the same old story about needing "£12 for a hostel for the night". He is the one with the crutches. I find him quite irritating.
Joined 21-04-2005
Posted on Friday, 23 June, 2006 - 01:40 pm:   

I've come across a woman beggar in the Crofton Park/Honour Oak area who says she needs money to buy formula milk for her baby. Would break your heart if you believed her.
Joined 24-03-2004
Posted on Friday, 23 June, 2006 - 03:19 pm:   

Not really, given that bottle feed is not strictly necessary and that regardless of this people on benefits get milk tokens.
Joined 20-03-2005
Posted on Friday, 23 June, 2006 - 03:54 pm:   

There are a few well recognised scams going on in FH and on the trains to FH. The first is different young women who knock on your door at unusal hours, for me it was 6am, for my neighbour 11pm, with stories re 1- needing money for their babies milk, or money for the meter to heat it up, 2-a cab to go to their mother's to get a spare set of door keys. These are all bogus, and our local police are aware of them. If they do call on you, please don't give them any money and report it to the local police. There is also a chap on the trains from London Bridge to FH who says he is homeless in Lewisham, and asks for money. I have encountered him 3 times, and on each occasion offered to take him personally to our homeless persons unit in Catford for help and advice, at which he rushes off speedily to the next carriage! I wonder why?
Joined 16-07-2004
Posted on Monday, 26 June, 2006 - 10:45 am:   

Dotcom - I've encpuntered that woman asking for formula on Garthorne Rd. She walks down the middle of the road trying to get cars to stop - I was on my bike. The first time I saw her she stood right in front of the bike and I stopped (foolishly) thinking that maybe she just needed directions! I didn't give her any money but the next time I saw her I had to quite a bit of weaving on the bike to avoid hitting her!
Joined 21-04-2005
Posted on Monday, 26 June, 2006 - 11:53 am:   

Can't help feeling sorry for people who beg, but there is no way I'm financing anybody's drug habit. Would happily have gone to the pharmacy and bought a tub of formula milk for the baby had I for one moment believed her.

I like the way the Councillor Wise dealt with the guy on the train. I have encountered him too. Irritates me the way they try to pull at heart strings when they are begging. I work in North London where begging is rife. I have now adopted the attitude 'no, I don't have any spare cash, that's why I drag myself up here every day to earn a living.'
Joined 09-04-2005
Posted on Wednesday, 28 June, 2006 - 09:58 am:   

I keep seeing the same Scottish man begging on the train. He's very polite, but persistent. He has a well rehearsed speech which I must've heard about 7 or 8 times now. Last time around it was just me in the carriage but he wasn't deterred. He addressed me with the usual speech as if I was in a whole crowd of people. It's very hard not to feel sorry that someone's in such a state that they're reduced to begging but I'd prefer to give money to charity. As for the car keys scam, I was approached by a girl in Sunderland Road last year who tried that one on with me. I found it really hard to shake her off as she just stood in front of me and wasn't going to budge.
Joined 21-12-2005
Posted on Thursday, 29 June, 2006 - 02:08 pm:   

OK, so was this a scam? Walking home yesterday evening, about 7.30pm, at the far end of Perry Vale (towards Bell Green), I was approached by a woman asking for help. Mindful of this thread, I was interested to hear what her story would be and this was it: she and her husband (she indicated a man who had stopped someone else) were trying to get to East Grinstead but their car had broken down in Brockley (which must be about 2 miles away). They were trying to get a train instead but didnít have enough money for the tickets and needed another £3.60, so were asking people for 90p towards it. She seemed quite normal, ie well-dressed and made-up and not the pathetic creature type you sometimes get asking for money. I didnít give her anything Ė apart from this thread being foremost in mind thereís no way Iíd get my purse out in front of a stranger in the street. So was this a scam or not? Have I become so cynical that I rejected a genuine request for help?
Joined 09-04-2005
Posted on Thursday, 29 June, 2006 - 02:44 pm:   

I seem to remember someone approaching me once for money and East Grinstead being mentioned. That definitely rings a bell. Also the most skilled con artists will dress to look 'normal'. I agree it's very hard to judge but it's worth offering to direct someone to the nearest police station for help and advice and then see their reaction. I've done this a couple of times and in both cases the person disappeared very quickly - similar to the councillor's experience.
Joined 09-04-2005
Posted on Thursday, 29 June, 2006 - 02:54 pm:   

I do think this couple sound dodgy. If I was genuinely stranded somewhere and in distress I wouldn't be specifying a particular amount of money I needed from passers-by. I'd probably ask where the police station was where hopefully I could make a phone call to home to get help. Perhaps I've become a cynic but their behaviour just sounds too planned to be genuine. Plus as I've said, the tale also sounds familiar.
Joined 15-07-2005
Posted on Thursday, 29 June, 2006 - 04:21 pm:   

Blushingsnail, the couple you met is the one about the scam. They have approached me with the same excuse a couple of times over the last 2-3 years.
Joined 08-05-2006
Posted on Monday, 03 July, 2006 - 09:54 am:   

I've most often encountered people begging "for a bus fare", and I found it useful to have a few of those paper 'saver tickets' on me (as well as my OysterCard) to offer. They're usually rudely refused!
Joined 18-04-2005
Posted on Friday, 07 July, 2006 - 03:47 pm:   

I would like to be able to give to genuine causes but like most of the contributers believe the majority are on a scam
Joined 22-02-2006
Posted on Tuesday, 11 July, 2006 - 04:28 pm:   

I've also experienced the begger with the crutches who got on at Waterloo East on a southbound train back to FH.

Has anyone noticed the afro Carribean man who begs outside the Abbey/185 bus stop on London Road?
Joined 08-03-2005
Posted on Saturday, 29 July, 2006 - 11:10 am:   

He employs the odd technique of sleazing-up women and then asking them money. I have seen little success so far.
Joined 30-03-2005
Posted on Saturday, 29 July, 2006 - 09:54 pm:   

He was on the train to Waterloo East last Monday.
Joined 01-04-2006
Posted on Sunday, 30 July, 2006 - 02:11 pm:   

The one with the crutch was on a train into London yesterday about mid afternoon. I really wonder how much these guys make?

When I lived in Sheffield it was well known to some that one begger in particluar who sat outside a major pub had his own flat. Apparently he was making up to £250 a night on the weekend.

You just never know!!
Joined 30-03-2005
Posted on Sunday, 30 July, 2006 - 08:12 pm:   

I doubt that he makes much money. But it is irritating to be asked for money all the time. I assume that he travels on the railway free as there are no barriers at Waterloo East.
Joined 29-10-2005
Posted on Monday, 31 July, 2006 - 12:56 am:   

Is this the person who calls himself Lee?

There used to be a guy who dressed as ROBO cop who collected money on the trains, was never sure if he was for real or not.
Joined 30-03-2005
Posted on Monday, 31 July, 2006 - 09:00 am:   

Not sure.
He never gives a name.
He uses a metal crutch.
Joined 08-03-2005
Posted on Monday, 31 July, 2006 - 11:34 am:   

"There used to be a guy who dressed as ROBO cop"

He'll only spend it on WD40.
Joined 28-03-2005
Posted on Monday, 31 July, 2006 - 09:56 pm:   

' Hello,ladies and gentlemen, my name's Lee *********. I'm sorry to bother you. I'm presently homeless and sleeping rough and I'm trying to scrape together enough money to get myself into a night shelter for the night. Any change you've got would be greatly appreciated.'

That Lee, you mean? The one who sounds like he's reciting a script for a telly commercial advertising valium. I've encountered him many times on my train travels up and down to London Bridge. Just for your information folks, no-one who is homeless is required to pay in advance for a nightshelter or homeless hostel accommodation. Needless to say, Lee is none too keen on having this pointed out to him in front of a carriageful of commuters. What you choose to do with your money is your own business, but please don't be duped into thinking you are funding him or the many others peddling this same yarn to get a bed for the night. Rather, you are funding a crack or heroin habit, which is fine, if that's what you want to do.
Joined 29-10-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 01 August, 2006 - 12:06 am:   

Chaz that's the Lee, whose words are so well known late night commuters say them in chorus. Tonight Lee was replaced by Stuart who had the same speech and possibly the same crutch.

I kid you not RoboCop used to ride the train almost every night in full gear, except his outfit was plastic rather than metal.
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 01 August, 2006 - 01:27 pm:   

My favourite on the trains is the "big issue seller" who gives the story about going to Croydon that morning to collect his copies of the magazine to sell, only to find that the office is shut for staff training. He's therefore asking for small change instead, but is happy to show you his "official" Big Issue ID badge. I've heard the same story from him nearly 10 times. You'd have thought he'd have worked out when the office is closed by now.....

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