Don't make life harder for Oxford's rough sleepers

This petition made change with 71,741 supporters!

So it looks like Oxford City Council has decided that rough sleeping isn’t hard enough as it is.

They are proposing a ban on various 'anti-social activities' in the city centre (by using new 'public spaces protection order' powers, PSPOs). One of the activities Oxford City plan to ban and criminalise is “rough sleeping”.

We at On Your Doorstep believe that the proposed ban is an unacceptable cover up of the huge housing and homelessness crisis that Oxford faces. We feel that this policy glosses over the long term issue of homelessness and are discriminates against Oxford’s rough sleepers. PSPOs were not designed to target groups of vulnerable people. Rough sleeping in itself should not be a crime.

 We are therefore calling on the council to remove rough sleeping from the list of behaviours which they seek to ban.

Criminalising rough sleeping in the city centre will only increase (already high) levels of stigma surrounding Oxford's homeless population. It privileges the appearance of Oxford over its' citizens' wellbeing, and risks treating rough sleepers as a problem to be dealt with, as an inconvenience, as a threat, rather than as individual human beings.

Oxford has done great work supporting homeless people up until this point, we do not want the council to undo this incredible work by introducing this ban. We have seen public pressure stop homelessness from being glossed over in Westminster and in Manchester. We know that if you join us in the fight we can stop this from happening in Oxford as well.

The final decisions will be made in June. We have to show the council, before then, that we do not support their proposal.

Please take a moment to sign this petition. Let’s make sure that Oxford City Council don’t make rough sleeping harder than it already is!

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