HC Deb 25 March 1886 vol 303 cc1794-5
MR. BRISTOWE (Lambeth, Norwood)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention bas been called to processions of men, describing themselves as unemployed, parading the streets of the southern suburbs of London, and collecting alms from the inhabitants; and, if such precessions are in accordance with the police regulations; and, if not, if he will give directions for their suppression?


Yes, Sir; my attention has been called to these processions in the suburbs of London for the purpose of collecting alms. It does not appear that the persons composing them are amenable to the Vagrancy Law, this having been expressly decided in the High Court of Justice in February, 1884, in the case of "Pointon v. Hill," when a conviction by a Stipendiary Magistrate was quashed by the Court. The police have been instructed to caution these men "not to beg, as it may get them into trouble;" but they cannot otherwise interfere, except in the event of pressure or threats being used, or any disorder arising.