COMMUTERS have labelled Govia Thameslink Railway “inhumane” over a notice which asked passengers not to give money to beggars.

The notice is in the foyer next to the Superdrug store at Brighton Station.

It reads: “Beggars and ticket touts operate at this station. Please do not encourage beggars by giving them money.

“Ticket touts operate at this location, please help us by handing used or unwanted tickets to a member of staff.”

But passengers say the rail company is being unsympathetic.

Lulu Waring, 26, of Brighton, said: “I use the trains regularly and I only noticed the sign on Wednesday.

“I’ve never seen it at the station before. I think putting up this sign makes Brighton look unwelcoming. It’s against the city’s reputation for being accepting and friendly. There aren’t many beggars at the station. Sometimes I see one or two.

“I understand the need to deter ticket touts, but the homeless are already vulnerable. They don’t cause trouble, so the sign is pointless.

“If a commuter wants to help, the only way they can think of is give them money.

“But if Govia is trying to stop that, then they should offer answers for the homeless because it’s such a big problem in the city.

“I’ve always helped rough sleepers in my spare time. The sign sends an awful message.”

Another commuter, Jessica Vine, 36, from Hove, said: “I first saw the sign a few weeks ago, it was at the front entrance under the digital clock, then they moved it.

“I’ve never seen it at the station before and I was really surprised. It’s so unsympathetic.

“Asking people to stop giving to beggars is so inhumane.

“Rough sleepers are already down on their luck and they need help.

“There aren’t many beggars at the station and it’s not like there are hordes of them approaching people for money.

“I completely understand the need to prevent ticket touts from scamming people. However, homelessness is a big issue and the train company shouldn’t brush it off.

“Rather, they should put up a sign promoting nearby homeless services to offer them a long term solution.”

A Govia spokesman said: “The police seek to reduce begging because it is often associated with drug use and organised crime. We support the police’s efforts for the benefit of our passengers.”