Updated: Thursday, 26th April 2018 @ 5:50pm

Greater Manchester Police face online wrath over 'ironic' Big Issue tweet

Greater Manchester Police face online wrath over 'ironic' Big Issue tweet

| By Josh Mines

Manchester police have been blasted online after their twitter account posted insensitive comments about Big Issue sellers in the city centre.

Earlier this week the account, ‘GMP City Centre’ tweeted: “Call now from Big Issue seller complaining about beggars nearby.

“No, we’re not being judgemental but just struck us as somewhat ironic.”  

This provoked outrage from Mancunians on twitter who felt that the police’s approach to homelessness was insensitive and that comparing Big Issue vendors, who sell magazines to make money, and beggars asking for money outside cash machines are one and the same.

One person tweeted: “Difference between begging and someone homeless actually making a legit effort for some income #delete.”

Another user, Helen Aldridge wrote: “A very poorly judged tweet. Big Issue sellers should be supported, especially by GMP.”

JUDGEMENTAL? Even GMP's ammended tweet caused some uproar

Following many users publicly criticising the tweet, the account deleted the original tweet and instead said: “Call now from Big Issue sellers complaining about beggars nearby.”

In response, GMP eventually sent a series of tweets to say: “We know that by Tweeting about begging and rough sleepers we are sailing in difficult waters.

“But if we don’t put to sea, we avoid talking about one of the most complex and challenging issues in the city centre.

“Not comparing one to the other. However I will amend.”

ANGER: The tweet saw people take to Twitter to complain about the use of the term 'beggar'

Another person also commented on the outdated use of the term ‘beggar’, as Jenna Omeltschenko pointed out: “Beggar is really out of date term, it’s not Dickensian London. 

“Maybe you could describe them as asking for money/help?”

The Big Issue North declined to comment when contacted by MM. 

Image courtesy of Stuart Grout, with thanks.