LETTER : Children for hire

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The Independent Online
From Mr J. Tippler

Sir: Regarding the begging woman in the Underground (Maggie Brown's Diary, 10 May), a few years ago I was accosted by a woman in Tottenham Court Road. Could I spare something for the children? Three of them, around four, five and seven years old, tagged along with her, looking suitably unwashed and beggarly, as she did herself. I gave something. However, coming past again a while later, I noticed the same children but this time with a different woman. She was also approaching people: could they spare something ...?

I assume the children were lent around to support a regular begging activity, but suspicion is difficult when there is a genuine wish to give to those in need.

Yours faithfully,


Spalding, Lincolnshire