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Policing Compassion: Begging, Law and Power in Public Spaces (eBook)

Joe HermerAssistant Professor of Sociology and Criminology, University of Toronto, Canada

ISBN13: 9781509901203
Published: December 2019
Publisher: Hart Publishing
Country of Publication: UK
Format: eBook (ePub)
Price: £49.50
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The encounter between those begging and those passing-by in public spaces has become one of the most controversial issues in the politics and policing of urban life. In this book,criminologist Joe Hermer examines how begging regulation - underpinned by the social character of charity, contract, money and work - plays a central role in organising how we feel responsible for one another in late capitalist society.

Based in the historical insight that modern begging law has had at its core a concern with the compassionate impulses of the public, Hermer develops the concept of the gift encounter to understand begging as a profound social phenomenon that is intricately tied to the exercise of political power. Drawing on a range of eclectic empirical sources, the author examines how criminal begging is governed through specialised police operations and diverted giving programs, as well as the way in which official and legitimate begging such as charity collections, Big Issue selling, and busking are ordered as vital aspects of the gift encounter landscape which the public negotiates.

The author explores how the control of begging and squeegee work is central to a current preoccupation with policing disorder, and reviews the current constitutional state of anti-begging laws in Britain, Canada, and the United States.

Subjects:
Police and Public Order Law, eBooks
Contents:
Introduction
I. Gift Crimes
II. Counterfeit Coin
III. Outline of Chapters
1. The Problem of the Tender-Hearted Public
I. Mendicity and Mendacity in the Metropolis
II. The Humanity of the Population
III. A Man of the Crowd
2. The Genesis of Gift-Crime Regulation: Winchester's 'Make It Count'
I. An Experiment
II. A Lot Better than Nothing?
3. One Remove from Beggary: Flag-Day Collectors, Buskers and Big Issue Vendors
I. Flag-Day Collectors
II. Buskers
III. The Big Issue Vendor
4. The Vagrancy Act 1824, 1976–2000
I. The EVA Challenge
II. 'Homeless Encounter' Policing: Charing Cross and Manchester Homeless Units
III. The 'Forlorn Family' Look: Women Begging with Children in the London Underground
5. Kindness Kills: Begging, Drugs and Death
I. The Migration of Diverted Giving
II. Kindness, Drugs and Death
III. Idle and Disorderly: The Resuscitation of Vagrancy Law
6. The Legal Beggar in Scotland
I. 'The Biggest Urinal in the United Kingdom'
II. Drafting a Begging By-law
III. Diverted Giving: A Social Welfare Measure?
7. The Calling of a Beggar
I. Truth in Gift -Crime Prevention
II. Criminal Justice Outcomes
III. The Folly of 'Persistence'
IV. Closing Observations