It is a national disgrace we have so many beggars on the streets of our towns and it would be nice to see the back of them. Many agree with the government's attempt to encourage them to leave the streets and go to organised accommodation, where there is no need to live rough, drink or take drugs.

Until these kind of facilities exist, however, it is premature to try and stifle to generosity of the public who express their sympathy with cash.

Some beggars prefer their lifestyle and beg to fund an alcohol or drug habit. We should pity these poor souls whose lives are so devoid of pleasure that their only way of coping is to seek oblivion. Who knows whose turn it might be to join them? Never condemn those who give beggars money to spend to try to make the intolerable tolerable.

-John O'Riley, Downs View Road, Hassocks