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AIBU to give money to the ladies who literally lie flat on their faces in the street?

(352 Posts)
pa1oma Sat 15-Aug-20 19:17:27

I was wondering if I could ask people’s opinions on something please? ... In recent weeks / months when I’m out and about shopping, I’m seeing noticeably more of the (mainly Iranian, I think) ladies who lie on their face in the street, wailing and begging for money. For instance, in Kensington there was another one today and several down Champs Elysees as well as Hammersmith last week and it’s very distressing, but DH says not to give them anything because neither them or their children will see any of it. He says they are being put out their by a gang leader who uses these women and sends them out to beg because they are more likely to get money than a man who is begging. What do people think and do you give money to these women? I’m never sure what to do.

OP’s posts: |
chaoticfave Sat 15-Aug-20 19:22:09

I wouldn’t give money to anyone who thinks it’s either appropriate or acceptable to wail in public.

Laaalaaaa Sat 15-Aug-20 19:23:21

Excuse the language but fuck no. We saw something similar on oxford street once, an old lady sitting in her battered old shoes begging, 5 minutes later saw her round the corner changing into her nicer shoes and heading off with her takings from the day. Scam.

Iminaglasscaseofemotion Sat 15-Aug-20 19:24:12

Your dh is right. They don't see the money and are put there by men. Wether you give them money knowing that info or not is up to you, but I dont.

Lockheart Sat 15-Aug-20 19:25:20

Your DH is right. By giving them money you are not helping them, you are only funding modern day slavery.

enchantedspleen Sat 15-Aug-20 19:27:04

Heck no! Giving them money just perpetuates the problem. Year's ago I was in France and there were begging women there with very drugged looking babies and toddlers in their arms. Fuck. That. Noise.

sashagabadon Sat 15-Aug-20 19:28:53

they are gang controlled. I have seen vans dropping them off early in the morning. They also beg at busy road junctions where traffic stops regularly where I work. Sometimes disabled men, with leg or arm disfigurements hobbling from one car to the next with a cup to get a coin or two from drivers.
I don't give money to them but it is distressing to see and I don't know what is best.
In the past, I have seen women sitting on the street with babies/ toddlers on their laps that quite honestly must have been drugged as they slept the whole time but I haven't seen babies recently - that was on Ken High street too.
I think they are romanian/bulgarian but could be wrong

Elouera Sat 15-Aug-20 19:30:20

No way would I give a penny! Volunteer your time or donatation to a recognised charity instead.

Years ago when I was new to London, I'd offer food, but it was always rejected, so I quickly learnt they were either addicts or part of a managed gang that only want cash! Too many times, I've also see the ladies take off their headscarf & begging clothes and resume normal behaviour when not 'begging'. The limp, hunch and walking stick in 'older' beggers also seems to disapear once their shift is over! hmm

katy1213 Sat 15-Aug-20 19:32:24

Not a penny.

Chottie Sat 15-Aug-20 19:33:47

I saw a man sitting begging outside London Bridge station with a notice saying he was hungry, needed money for a hostel room etc. When I passed by about 4 hours later, a different man was sitting in the same spot with the same notice next to him.......

Soundbyte Sat 15-Aug-20 19:35:05

Some of you seem quite knowledgable about this subject.. what happens when the women return to these men with no/not enough money?

Yoloyohol Sat 15-Aug-20 19:35:46

I'm afraid DH is right. There's another group with exaggerated signs of disabilities, previously with notably short crutches, working various traffic light junctions on the North Circular.
We've seen the same sharp dressed guy in a white Mercedes picking up takings from both groups.
(reported to the modern slavery hotline, as though it's probably all quite complicated, on at least one occasion the person handing over the cash was being harassed and searched.)

BTW if anyone recognizes the A406 lot, one of the 'wobbling head - splayed walk' guys, definitely has a steady head and just a very minor limp when out shopping.

Bananabread8 Sat 15-Aug-20 19:38:55


I wouldn’t give money to anyone who thinks it’s either appropriate or acceptable to wail in public.

Have some compassion FGS. You don’t know if the person has been trafficked and has no choice but to do such drastic things. I’m sure they feel an absolute tit when people are turning their noses up and walking by..

PinkiOcelot Sat 15-Aug-20 19:39:17

I’ve never ever seen that. Lying face down in the street?! And no, I wouldn’t give money.

Bananabread8 Sat 15-Aug-20 19:41:05

I feel sorry for them. I’ve not seen this what you have described but they are definitely genuine people who are desperate for money. To be honest you could just buy them food thats what I usually do. The trouble is you can’t help everyone as homelessness and begging is a huge problem.

pa1oma Sat 15-Aug-20 19:42:37

Thankyou - yes maybe I shouldn’t have given them anything and this is what DH said and he’s part-Iranian as well, but I just find it so awful and it’s very dramatic because they lie flat on their front, wailing and crying in the middle of the pavement and people are just walking around them and almost tripping over them at times.

Do you think they are wives of the men in the gangs or what’s going on? I wonder where they sleep? This kind of begging is increasingly in London now, but it’s been more evident in Paris for some time, it seems to me?

OP’s posts: |
AFireInJuly Sat 15-Aug-20 19:42:44

Your DH is right. They are likely Romanian. If you are in central London very early in the morning you can see them being dropped off in vans by the gang.

Tunnocks34 Sat 15-Aug-20 19:42:49

I do.

Not because I think that the money goes to the woman, but because I think if they go back empty handed they will just be in serious danger. I always will give a bar of chocolate or something too which they take.

I know that this also helps the gangs but honestly, I think it’s the lesser of two evils? Maybe I’m wrong. I don’t know.

UncomfortableSilence Sat 15-Aug-20 19:44:04

Your DH is right. There is always one outside Whitechapel station when I take DD to the orthodontist. Laying on the floor moaning and making awful noises, DD used to get really upset seeing her.

saltycat Sat 15-Aug-20 19:44:47

How did you manage to get from Kensington and Hammersmith to the Champs Elysee to witness this scam?

Isolate and quarantine immediately.

heartsonacake Sat 15-Aug-20 19:45:33

YABU and all you’d be doing would be encouraging their behaviour.

They do it because fools give them money. If nobody did, they wouldn’t.

Yoloyohol Sat 15-Aug-20 19:46:24

Soundbyte I can't say about all the people who have specific begging styles and methods, but the ones I'm aware of the women are part of a family/ friendship group and quite competent. From what I see of them 'off duty,' generally it seems to be the single men with drink/drug issues who are round the edges of the groups, that are most at risk.
Every day the majority of food and drink they are given is left at the side of the road as unsuitable.

CarolVordermansArse Sat 15-Aug-20 19:46:26

Another version of the women carrying babies and banging on car windows at traffic lights.

KitKatKit Sat 15-Aug-20 19:46:56


Your DH is right. They are likely Romanian. If you are in central London very early in the morning you can see them being dropped off in vans by the gang.

Exactly this. Most likely Romanian and work in gangs. Please donate to charities in other ways.

Bananabread8 Sat 15-Aug-20 19:48:09

To be honest OP I’d be tempted to report it to the police. If there’s a language barrier and you don’t know what’s going on and it’s a regular thing the police should be informed.

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