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'WIP orders' at Waterloo Station

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Tuesday 7 January 2014 2.48pm
These exclusion orders do seem a little heavy handed, but I am surprised that, in spite of the great efforts to the contrary (many reported on your website)some homeless are still sleeping in the station.
Back in the dreadful winter of 1963 and 1964 I passed it, in the small hours( on my way to a warm bed) several times and discovered the station to be a life-saving refuge for those less fortunate than me.
There was a soup kitchen nearby and I remember one of the staff - having posted herself on the bridge to 'rescue' potential jumpers - insisting I stepped away from the parapet -(The view in the moonlight was enchanting)- and had a cup of tea
Perhaps the attraction of 'my' soup kitchen has now been replaced by the methadone dispensary.

They were sad times for those living and sleeping rough back then; But they were woken by appologetic policeman before the first commutor train pulled in - some even helping to collect-up belongings.

Here we are over fifty-years on - but what is to do? perhaps the unfortunate addicts might not be there, hanging about and pick-pocketing if the on-station chemist did not dispense Methadone - it's an idea.

John Ridyard author of 'Sharing: An imperfect Recollection'
Monday 13 January 2014 2.16pm
This is simply displacing the 'problem'. As residents of an area housing a major national railway station, we have to accept a higher-than-average number of transient or homeless people, who should be treated with the same respect that anyone else should, unless their individual behaviour is such that they forfeit any reasonable 'entitlement' to that respect.

The key word here is 'individual' - we should not assume that because someone lives on the street, and may have substance use or mental health problems, is predisposed to harass, threaten, abuse, or insult others.

In reality, most people with serious mental health problems are scared rather than aggressive, most street homeless people are at far greater risk of assault [including by 'upstanding', housed members of the public] than the rest of us, and life expectancy and general health is extremely poor.

Finally, what is the logic of ceasing the dispensation of methadone prescriptions from a pharmacy based in a chemist's that is [a] not part of a high street, and [b] is staffed not only be security guards, but presumably also a fairly large pharmacy staff complement?

As residents, we arguably should have primary rights to participate in these discussions [ie, rather than commuters, who are also, in their own way, 'transients'], and it is unlikely that inundating a busy, small, and understaffed Boots on Lower Marsh is likely to be met with greater local approval than the current arrangements.

Or maybe the commuters, whose average demographic is likely to include greater numbers of those in higher socio-economic groups, are the ones who are actually being 'placated' by this 'out-of-sight, out-of-mind' tactic....
Monday 13 January 2014 4.41pm
Thanks Jim for shooting down my last paragraph in your posting. The Station is a place of shelter, and today (thanks to CCTV) safety for commuters, the temporary homeless,and the vulnerable There should be no WIP's.
Monday 13 January 2014 4.59pm
Believe me, John, it is a relief and a pleasure to debate the issue with someone so amenable to a reasoned discussion.

Time will tell one way or the other, but I had some concerns that my post might stir up a hornet's nest of unreflective nimbyism!
Wednesday 5 February 2014 12.57pm
Hi Jim, I came back in to this forum today.. expecting, like you, a flood of discussion, but it seems that we are alone.
Let's hope that no one turns up in the river, having been served with a WIP.
Wednesday 5 February 2014 1.00pm
Indeed, and maybe we should be gratified at the lack of nimby responses to the post!

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