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Homeless forced out of sight

While issues associated with homelessness are always complex, there will be surprise that Belfast City Council has responded to problems in one particular area by simply removing wooden benches from a public space.

The move followed complaints about anti-social behaviour in the High Street district, but as we reported yesterday it is known that the seats had regularly been used overnight by rough sleepers.

Back in 2015, it will be remembered that the council also removed a temporary shelter for homeless people known as a hi-pod from the same location on grounds of health and safety.

It is always possible to push vulnerable individuals out of public sight, but it must be hoped that the authorities have a range of strategies in place which involve providing rather than taking away facilities.

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