The boss of a charity accused of launching a crackdown on 'fake beggars' has said his organisation has nothing to do with the campaign.
The campaign in Torquay, Devon has seen posters displayed around the town, telling beggars they will be publicly shamed if they can't prove they are homeless. The campaign, which has been hugely criticised as Britain deals with freezing weather conditions, has been attributed to Humanity Torbay and one of its most prominent backers, Ashley Simms, is said to work for the charity.
However Humanity Torbay's general manager, Flo Ardesi, has told talkRADIO the "information has been completely misunderstood on social media". He told Jamie East and Michelle Dewberry that his charity are running their own campaign, Killing with Kindness, to help the local homeless community but this has nothing to do with the 'fake beggar' crackdown.
Ardesi added that Simms "doesn’t work for us," explaining: "He made a few donations to us, he’s a good friend of ours, but no what he does is not related to Humanity Torbay."
Jamie asked whether any news outlet contacted the charity before publishing the story, to clarify the details.
Ardesi responded: "They asked us if we were in any way related to fake homeless and we clearly say no, but again media, trolls, keyboard warriors, they just write whatever they want."
"It’s Ashley Simms and basically himself and some people who support him" who are fighting against fake begging, the interviewee continued, but the media have got their wires crossed.
If you see anyone sleeping rough in tonight's freezing weather, StreetLink can help connect them with local services. Go to www.streetlink.org.uk or download the app to pass on the info.
Listen to the full interview above