Daily Mail, Thursday, August 1, 2019 Page 13
City’s vagrants make up to £45,000 a year and most
aren’t even homeless, claims rough sleeping expert
BEGGARS are making up
to £45,000 a year on the
streets, a homelessness
They are often not homeless
and travel to cities in search of
rich pickings, Kim Pike said.
Miss Pike, Notingham’s rough
sleeping coordinator, said it was
important to make a distinction
between genuine rough sleepers
and career beggars exploiting
tourists and workers.
She claimed she had spoken to
beggars on the streets in Notting-
ham who had been earning £45,
a year – tax free – but ‘have nothing
to show for it’ as they had spent it
on alcohol and drugs such as
mamba, a psychoactive substance.
‘We’ve had people who have been
on a night out and they give [a
beggar] £100 thinking they are
doing them a favour,’ she said.
‘But that amount of money could
kill them. It’s £2 for a bag of
mamba. If people give even £3 for
a meal deal, how do they know it’s
going to go on that?’
Miss Pike, 32, took up her post
last year after Nottingham City
Council was awarded more than
£460,000 as part of the Govern-
ment’s homelessness initiative.
Charities in the city said genuine
rough sleepers often hide away for
safety and warmth, while beggars
with homes take to the streets to
get cash for drugs and alcohol.
it is warmer,’ she said. ‘It’s a mas-
sive problem this summer.’
However, a spokesman for the
Framework charity in Nottingham
said that even if people had some-
where to stay, it did not mean they
did not need help. ‘In recent years
the term “professional beggar” has
entered public debate, but it’s one
we would take issue with,’ he said.
‘While it is true that some people
are very good at begging and bring
in significant sums of money, the
reality is that they are funding very
damaging behaviours and living
lives that few of us would envy.’
Yesterday, one beggar in Not-
tingham city centre was given just
a handful of coins – about £10 –
and no notes in the hour for which
they were observed. Well wishers
also handed him sandwiches, pies,
cakes and soft drinks.
Another beggar, who gave his
name as Dave, aged 47, said: ‘It’s
crazy to think we are given £45,
a year. They are saying that to
make out what we are doing is
very lucrative. That way they hope
to turn the public against us. The
honest truth is a regular beggar
gets given £25 to £30 a day.’
By Claire Duffin
‘They want cash for
drink and drugs’
cast a spell
Wonder women: JK Rowling and Emma Watson get into role at a fancy dress party. Inset: The author and young cast in 2001
THEY first met in 1999, when Emma Watson
was auditioning for the role of Hermione
in the Harry Potter series.
Two decades on, the actress has paid
tribute to the author who helped make
her a star – wishing JK Rowling a happy
54th birthday on Instagram yesterday.
Miss Watson, 29, shared a picture of the
pair at a ‘sexy and scary’ fancy dress party,
thought to have been taken in 2017.
The British actress dressed up as Wonder
Woman in a strapless leather outfit and
headdress, while Miss Rowling looked suit-
ably fantastical wearing a horn, white con-
tact lens and demonic face make-up.
In her post, Miss Watson sent the multi-
millionaire author ‘all the love’.
The pair have remained close friends
since the last Potter film was released in
- Miss Watson auditioned for the role of
Hermione Granger when she was just nine
and immediately won the backing of Miss
Rowling, joining Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert
Grint in the cast.
By Jennifer Ruby
Senior Showbusiness Correspondent
A RARE first edition of Harry
Potter And The Philosopher’s
Stone – which was bought for £
at a tabletop sale – has fetched
£28,500 at auction.
The 1997 edition of the first in JK
Rowling’s seven-part series was dis-
covered by auctioneer Jim Spencer
in a banana box full of books.
The hardback, pictured, of which
only 500 copies were published by
Bloomsbury, was sold to an anony-
mous bidder at Bishton Hall in Staf-
fordshire yesterday – marking Miss
Around 300 of
these first edi-
tions went to
libraries at the
‘It was a magi-
and [it] is an
said he was in
‘disbelief ’ when he found the copy –
which he described as the ‘Holy
Grail for book collectors’.
He said: ‘It is something that is
always on your radar, and you are
thinking, “will I ever turn one up?” I
was pretty shocked.
‘I must get two or three calls a
week saying, “I have got a Harry
Potter first edition”, but you can
generally put most to bed and rule
them out within half a minute.’
Mr Spencer, who spotted the copy
after he was called to a client’s house
in Staffordshire to value three boxes
of books, said experts looked for
‘issue points’ to determine if it was
genuine. He noticed a printing error
in a list of Harry’s school ‘supplies’.
The repetition of ‘1 wand’ in the list
was corrected in later editions – con-
firming this was an original. The
word ‘philosopher’ was also initially
spelt wrongly on the back.
The book’s owner, 54, who asked
not to be named, said: ‘I bought it
along with three or four others to
read on holiday about 20 years ago.
I thought nothing of it at the time.’
Miss Pike goes out with the city’s
street outreach team at 5.30am
each day. She said the recent hot
weather has lead to more people
‘coming out of their accommoda-
tion’ to beg. ‘It always peaks when
‘Spare some change, guv?’