Homeless asked to clear out of Windsor ahead of royal wedding

windsor-royal-wedding-reuters A police dog handler passes the area where fans of Britain's Royal Familly are camped out in Windsor, Britain | Reuters

The excitement and hype over the royal wedding took a sad turn when the police removed homeless people from the streets of Windsor, the venue of the much awaited wedding. This has tainted the serenity of the occasion as they were treated as garbage that needed to be cleared.

Ironically, their belongings will be given safe accommodation while the people were left to fend for themselves. The Daily Mail showed two men packing their things in clear bags and a police officer taking it to the police van. They also said that it would be kept safely until the wedding is over. One of the men, whose belongings were taken away, said, “Any charity—legally six per cent—that's all they have to give. I understand they have people who they employ and stuff like that. But we help other countries when there's enough British people who need help.”

The issue began in January when the leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Simon Dudley, wrote a letter to the police demanding that all homeless people near the Windsor Castle be removed before the royal wedding. The manner in which he addressed the issue in his letter was termed as crass and disrespectful.

Although the ‘Vagrancy Act of 1824’ says that a person “…wandering abroad and lodging in any barn or outhouse, or in any deserted or unoccupied building, or in the open air, or under a tent, or in any cart or wagon, and not giving a good account of himself” is committing a crime, the fact that they undertook this operation just days before the royal wedding makes the whole act questionable.

More than 3,00,000 people are homeless in the UK. The UK is one of the wealthiest countries in the world with policies in place to tackle homelessness. The police might have made arrangements for keeping their belongings safe, but what about the homeless themselves?