I work in Preston, have done for the last few years, and at Christmas last year I gave a 'homeless' man (who was begging on the main rail bridge) some food and some drink. Didn't cost much but he looked like he needed it. Seen him a few times since and always let on. I've since seen that he isn't homeless at all, he has a mobile phone, and he "begs" for extra money. Today, for no other reason (other than he was out of his mind), in the centre of Preston, he confronted me in my car over the shared car and pedestrian space, and he threatened to "stamp all over my f**king head" and called me all the names under the sun. I asked him why he was being aggressive, and if he recognised my face at all (referring to when I gave him the food and drink), and he though I was "the old bill". I said "no, I actually helped you and gave you some food and drink when you really needed it" to which his pathetic retort was "so f**king what? I don't give a f**k d**khead". Now I know you can't tar everyone with the same brush, but he's one of the regular "homeless" that's seen around town begging, and he's taking massively advantage of people's generosity. Very disappointing indeed, and he'll be getting nothing again from me.
Some years ago a family member used to go into town of a Saturday for a night out. She used to talk to a beggar outside a night club. Over some months and after regularly giving the man money they asked him what it would take to get him a place of his own. He stated he needed someone to sponsor him (did not involve parting with any money ). She said she'd ask about it. A few weeks later they had both received letters confirming that they had an appointment. She attended on the due date but the beggar failed to show. A few weeks later she saw the man in his usual 'pitch' , when she asked him why he didn't turn up he said he could earn more money begging on the streets of Preston so didn't bother going for appointment. She never gave him any money again.
After so much money been spent on improving Fishergate, why let it be spoiled with these people begging. Make Preston a town to be proud of.