The number of recorded beggars on Winchester’s streets has halved as the council continues to work with partners to reduce homelessness and prevent begging.

Although the number of homeless people in Winchester is relatively low, there remains an issue of beggars falsely claiming to be homeless.

There were 28 incidents of begging in November 2018 compared to 53 at the same time last year.

One scheme which has helped to reduce begging is Spare Change for Real Change, which was relaunched in 2016.

Winchester City Council Leader and Portfolio Holder for Housing, Cllr Caroline Horrill said:

“I am delighted with how successful Spare Change for Real Change has been, and we also have a number of other initiatives that help to minimise homelessness.”

“The money from Spare Change gets to charities who can make a real difference to homeless people, and is a much better way to support the homeless compared to giving money to people on the street."

The scheme is operated by Winchester Business Improvement District in partnership with the Nightshelter and Trinity Winchester. Spare change boxes can be found in a number of shops across the city, with the proceeds going to both charities.