Beggars at railway stations

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by johntea, 1 Mar 2019.

  1. johnnychips

    johnnychips Established Member

    Messages:
    1,760
    Joined:
    19 Nov 2011
    Location:
    Doncaster
    This is very common in Spain and Italy. I've never seen anybody buy one - and they usually are tissues - but presumably somebody must, or they wouldn't do it.
     
  2. 37047

    37047 Member

    Messages:
    116
    Joined:
    23 May 2018
    Happened to me not long ago - was two women, boarded the Cambridge to London Liverpool Street service at Bishop's Stortford.
     
  3. FelixtheCat

    FelixtheCat Established Member

    Messages:
    1,990
    Joined:
    23 Jul 2015
    Location:
    London, Edinburgh or somewhere else
    It is a fairly common thing. I've had it happen to me quite a few times, possible from the same person on various SouthEastern services.

    The thing that gets me is the laminated cards explaining the situation. If I was homeless, I'm not sure lamination would be high up my list of things to do, but then I haven't been homeless so I wouldn't know.
     
  4. 37047

    37047 Member

    Messages:
    116
    Joined:
    23 May 2018
    I lived in Stockholm for a few years and used to commute daily on the Tunnelbana. There was a pair of buskers/beggars with an accordion on my usual route home who did the same thing on a frequent basis.
     
  5. tsr

    tsr Established Member

    Messages:
    7,102
    Joined:
    15 Nov 2011
    Location:
    Between the parallel lines
    Intermittently, for sure. I recall at least three surges of such activity around South London in the last 10 years ago, including the spike we’re starting to see again.

    They seem to have been as far south as Redhill, Gatwick and Brighton lately - normally, on GTR services south of the River, they once used to tend to just shuttle back and forth on the London to Croydon corridor.

    They are using a slightly more verbose note on the tables this time, but the message is basically the same.

    Last I heard about the previous series of such events, it was traced back to some big gang which sent out their minions from East London. The destination of the proceeds seemed uncertain. There was quite the crackdown on the workforce that the ringleaders sent out. At one point, various slightly bored members of onboard crew used to happily stretch the definition of “cover” and “spare” duties in order to head out to catch them, and it became a cat and mouse game with the goal of seeing who could deter the most such “beggars” (all of whom could provide addresses, and occasionally even had tickets when asked.)
     
  6. marko2

    marko2 Member

    Messages:
    29
    Joined:
    28 May 2016
    This type of offence is known a tissue begging and illegal under the same section of the railway byelaws used against other types of begging. It's usually organised, with the 'tissue sellers' often exploited or trafficked. The Police seem far more interested in this than straight vagrancy.
     
  7. Jonny

    Jonny Established Member

    Messages:
    1,861
    Joined:
    10 Feb 2011
    Location:
    Walking distance to CLS
    BTP even have a page about it: https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/what-tiss...ganised-criminal-gangs-eastern-europe-1548062
     
  8. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    18 Dec 2012
    Location:
    Another planet...
    I didn't recognise him, or his mate... but it doesn't surprise me that he's a regular. I guess I'm lucky I haven't encountered him before...

    He was wearing a Huddersfield Town beanie- oh, the shame!
     
  9. Parallel

    Parallel Established Member

    Messages:
    2,262
    Joined:
    9 Dec 2013
    In all my time using GWR I have never experienced a beggar on a train. I have only travelled between Broxbourne and London Liverpool Street once on the Stansted Express and saw tissue begging.
     
  10. d9009alycidon

    d9009alycidon Member

    Messages:
    83
    Joined:
    22 Jun 2011
    Location:
    Eaglesham
    Just outside the Railway Station in Olso you cannot move for beggars, they look to be of Romany origin and are well organised, I was approached by one and asked for money in Norwegian and when I told her that I didn't speak Norwegian she replied in fluent English, I didn't have any local cash as we work off the company credit card for all expenses but she was quite willing to escort me to the local ATM, an offer that was curtly declined.
     
  11. faltskog36abba

    faltskog36abba Member

    Messages:
    115
    Joined:
    23 Apr 2012
    Location:
    radcliffe
    I went to the palace theatre in Manchester last year to see Cilla the musical. I got off my train at Oxford road and there is a female Beggar there, In the interval there was a fella asking for change whilst I was having a cigarette. Then his mobile rang and off he went-The female from the station replaced him. They all share the hotspot begging places. I have also seen them on the outskirts of the city near Piccadilly/Victoria getting changed into the dirty street clothes.
     
  12. Matt_pool

    Matt_pool Member

    Messages:
    124
    Joined:
    9 Nov 2016
    There's always a guy outside Liverpool Central at the top of the ramp to the side entrance on to Bold Street. You can't miss him because he's got no legs and is in a wheelchair.

    The strange thing is he never asks for money and he's always got a stack of Argos catalogues or other leaflets that he waves about, and all he says to people is "thank you, god bless, have a nice day...". Sometimes he's just slumped in his wheelchair totally off his face. I don't know how he makes any money because there's always a Big Issue seller stood right next to him. The Big Issue seller just ignores the legless guy, and so does everyone else.

    The BTP can't do anything because he isn't on Merseyrail property, and Merseyside Police are invisible these days so aren't around to move him on, not that he really hassles anyone or causes any problems.
     
  13. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    18 Dec 2012
    Location:
    Another planet...
    Going by your description of the fella and his behaviour, I suspect the real reason BTP or Merseyside Bizzies don't do anything is that he isn't actually breaking any laws or bylaws. Even if they were visible they'd have better things to do than harrass someone who is neither a criminal nor a nuisance.

    As you say yourself "...not that he ever hassles anyone or causes any problems".
     
  14. furnessvale

    furnessvale Established Member

    Messages:
    3,023
    Joined:
    14 Jul 2015
    That isn't true. BTP jurisdiction extends to "in the vicinity" and even to anywhere in England and Wales in matters "affecting the Board".

    IF a beggar was affecting potential rail passengers, possibly causing them not to travel for example, BTP would have jurisdiction to act.
     
  15. gazzaa2

    gazzaa2 Member

    Messages:
    71
    Joined:
    2 May 2018
    The other big factor is the War on Drugs.
     
  16. Railguy1

    Railguy1 Member

    Messages:
    72
    Joined:
    6 Apr 2016
    The tissue begging was also an issue on the London Underground. However it seems to have reduced in recent years. This reduction may have coincided with station and driver annoucements advising people to not buy these tissues, explaining the criminal activity and report the sellers to a member of staff.
     
  17. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

    Messages:
    5,018
    Joined:
    22 Sep 2013


    I may be missing something - why does he need to be moved on ?

    .
     
  18. johntea

    johntea Established Member

    Messages:
    1,257
    Joined:
    29 Dec 2010
    Another regular at Leeds that approached me tonight - the wannabe Paul Daniels with his pack of cards to show you a magic trick in exchange for change!
     
  19. cjp

    cjp Established Member

    Messages:
    1,038
    Joined:
    28 Jan 2012
    Location:
    In front of a computer
    Is it a good trick well done?
    It is certainly an original concept
     
  20. Wtloild

    Wtloild Member

    Messages:
    53
    Joined:
    8 Aug 2018
    Beggar at Blackburn: "mate, mate can you give me three pound towards a ticket to Preston, I'm desperate to get home"
    Me: "sorry, no change, but I can buy you one on my card if you want"
    Beggar: "nah mate, sod it"
     
  21. TT-ONR-NRN

    TT-ONR-NRN On Moderation

    Messages:
    2,609
    Joined:
    30 Dec 2016
    Location:
    your worst nightmares
    That was a nice thing for you to offer!
     
  22. Silver Cobra

    Silver Cobra Member

    Messages:
    414
    Joined:
    4 Jun 2015
    Location:
    Bedfordshire
    I just had this happen on the Thameslink service I'm on right now (9T32 1325 Brighton to Bedford). On leaving East Croydon, a lady passed through the carriage leaving packets of tissues with a note on top on the few empty seats in the front carriage. Seems nobody took much notice to the tissue packets, so she picked them all up again as she came back through. Guess most people are wise to this now.
     
  23. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

    Messages:
    23,618
    Joined:
    1 Feb 2009
    Location:
    UK
    IMG_20190318_110439.jpg IMG_20190318_104827.jpg IMG_20190318_104946.jpg

    Just had it on my Cambridge to King's Cross train (boarded at Finsbury Park). I texted 61016 but nobody made it in time.

    I followed him as he picked up the tissues and one lady attempted to give money and I told her not to. She gave the tissues back.

    Obviously at this point he got frustrated and said he was Romanian and didn't speak English. I said it didn't matter as I wasn't out for conversation, saying he would be met by police.

    He then pulled out a phone to use a translate tool, which was a pristine Galaxy S9+! It asked if I was a cop. I said no, so he laughed and shrugged his shoulders.

    At King's Cross he just forced the barriers and left heading towards St Pancras.

    So, most people don't fall for it - but you only need one or two between stops and you'll do okay. He clearly wasn't doing too bad.
     
    Last edited: 18 Mar 2019 at 11:35
  24. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    34,703
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    One approached me at the Upper Crust asking for change as I paid by card for my cup of tea. Clearly he didn't want food or drink as he'd have asked me prior to ordering.
     
  25. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

    Messages:
    23,618
    Joined:
    1 Feb 2009
    Location:
    UK
    BTP have given me a reference and been given the photos. I'm sure they'll know him.

    More people should use the service. The more it gets used, the more it highlights issues and the more chance the police have to argue for more resources.
     
  26. NorthernSpirit

    NorthernSpirit Established Member

    Messages:
    1,476
    Joined:
    21 Jun 2013
    I had a classic one on Saturday in Dewsbury.

    Some woman came up to me and asked if the barriers at Huddersfield was open (how am I suppose to know that?), in which I replied no idea, but I'm guessing that they'll be staffed. This was then swiftly followed by have you got any spare change, I replied no, why not ask a bus driver kindly to see if they'll let you on or better still go to the police station and swear blind that your lost, it works for me. She then replied they won't help as she was suffering with something. The said woman soon made an exit. She also asked two others for change too, both of which said no.

    Judging by the state of her, she'd be better off laying off the needles and cheap booze, as that is where the cash is going on.
     
  27. Spartacus

    Spartacus Member

    Messages:
    962
    Joined:
    25 Aug 2009
    Usually a bloke at Dewsbury who gets politely reminded that I work for the railway and he should depart if he’s not travelling. Always does to be fair, but he is a regular.
     
  28. matacaster

    matacaster Member

    Messages:
    439
    Joined:
    19 Jan 2013
    Maybe the chap didn't need to beg until he found out the price of a Virgin first class peak time ticket?
     
  29. hooverboy

    hooverboy Member

    Messages:
    381
    Joined:
    12 Oct 2017
    ..and there was me thinking they would be on the case immediately to sort out any potential trouble....that is the purpose of the phone line is it not?

    how is a reference number and cctv going to stop another parsons green type event?...they are tools for dealing with aftermath, not crime in progress.
     
  30. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

    Messages:
    7,800
    Joined:
    29 Oct 2013
    Location:
    Liverpool
    To be honest if he'd eaten in Upper Crust before he probably wanted cash to take elsewhere. Ha ha. The last baguette I got at Lime Street was vile. I can imagine Gordon Ramsay talking about the soggy doughy bread and the grease dripping off it. Sorry, off topic.
     

Share This Page