Commenting on new research into begging in Edinburgh, published by the Edinburgh Community Safety Partnership along with charity Shelter Scotland, Edinburgh Western MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton said:
“Street begging is a tragic phenomenon that Edinburgh is only too familiar with, but it doesn’t make these cases any less heartbreaking.
“This research must be a launchpad for change. We need evidence to dismantle the myths, but most importantly to guide those support services that can help people get on in life.
“Everyone deserves the chance to build a good life for themselves. To prevent more people ending up in these situations the SNP Government must urgently end the scandal of thousands of people waiting over a year for mental health treatment, while the Tories need to repair the damage their cuts to social security have done, leaving people at greater risk of homelessness.”