This is a quick update. I am definately no longer banned from the Thistles Centre Stirling in fact, to use the mangers words “Your becoming part of the community”. The shopping centre have seen past the stereotype and realised I’m just a human being who has hit hard times.
He asked me if I’d ever seen the Snug in the shopping centre. I hadn’t. All the furniture in this area is either reclaimed or made from recycled materials. Tables made from old industrial cable drums and heavy duty loading pallets. Don’t be fooled by the fact it’s recycled it’s of exceptionally high quality.
There’s a book exchange area. I’m looking forward to leaving the book I’m reading there and choosing another. Books are better shared, just like knowledge needs to be shared.
There’s also a giant chess set. Regular readers will know my veiw of chess. I had a quick game with a couple of young lads who came in. They didn’t have much experience in playing chess so I explained why I was making each move and the implications of the move. It was a sort of teaching game, chess is the ancient art of war, it’s used to teach all sort of warfare techniques. Teaches more about warfare than the modern games like Call of Duty.
Reckon the 2 lads have got potential and would love to help them hone their chess skills.
The centre manager was obviously very proud of the Snug area. He has every right to be proud of it it’s a beautiful, comfortable, community space.
One last thing. I received an email tonight. It was about a degree based apprenticeship. Apprenticeships are a great idea you get paid work experience and a qualification at the same time. The email was to invite me to be interviewed. I reckon you can tell how happy I am.
I was as wrong about the shopping centre as they were about me. I hope they except my heartfelt apologies.
Today readers I have to tell you about a delicate legal civil matter. You see the shopping centre in the middle of Stirling city has banned EVERYONE called Billy for 12 months. Or so it appears. As I’m called Billie, the female spelling with an “ie” not a “y” the ban doesn’t apply to me.
Now regardless on the legality of placing everyone named Billy. There’s other legal aspects of this, can you actually ban anyone from a shopping centre by giving them a piece of paper like this?
Necessity is the mother of learning. I’ve had to teach myself how to read and understand law. So readers lets dismantal the Billys ban.
Firstly which form of law has the Billys ban been granted under? Trespass is a civil matter not a criminal matter. This is very important as the police don’t deal with civil laws just criminal laws. Thus the issuing the Billys ban is outside the jurisdiction of the police. But would entering the shopping centre count as trespass if your called Billy? Well the shopping centre is owned by a private company and if Stirling was in England then it would be trespassing. Sorry all you Billy’s out there. Luckily Scotland has slightly different laws. It all boils down to the definition of “public place” not as simple as you’d expect. Time to call in the law! Section 37 sub paragraph 4 Criminal Justice and Licensing Scotland Act 2010 explains what a “public place” is:
So as a shopping centre is not a domestic premises, school or prison, it means that legally it’s a public place. This is important as in Scotland all people have the Freedom to Roam regardless of whether their name. Hey Billys you are protected by law to roam freely in shopping centres and other places by Land Reform Scotland Act 2003. You can even sleep outside, AKA wild camp if you wish. Section 1 grants you these rights.
As I spend a lot of time attempting to teach by example an ethical and morally wholesome way of living, my actions fall under Sc1(3)b Land Reform Scotland Act 2003 “purposes of carrying on a relevant educational activity”. If you look at the details of the Billys ban notice it’s clear they need to learn about the law.
In Defence of Billys Right to Roam
So in case your called Billy and the Stirling shopping centre gets silly and says your barred here’s your defence:
- Sc37 Criminal Justice and Licensing Scotland Act 2010 clearly shows this shopping centre is a public place.
- Sc1(3)a or b relates to public places and entitles me to the right to roam.
- If the security staff get really silly and threaten to call the police or police arrive just clearly state “this is a Civil matter” reiterate the above 2 points.
- If security threaten to or attempt to move you or any bags you may have remind them nicely that assault and theft are criminal offences and that touching yourself or moving bags will be seen as assault and/or theft.
- A reminder that Sc38 Criminal Justice and Licensing Scotland Act 2010 relates to behaviour designed to cause alarm or distress which is a criminal offence not a Civil Matter like the Billys ban or Human Rights Act 1998.
- Most importantly stay calm and ignore them if they start trying to cause you alarm or distress.
The above guide should allow you to go to the shopping centre without being harassed even if you are called Billy. Good job I’m Billie not Billy cause I’m sleeping outside that shopping centre tonight.
Written Request for Review of Billys Ban
Blanket bans and measures based on a name, like Billy, smacks of discrimination to me. It’s most unfair. What have Billys done to deserve this? So on behalf of everyone called Billy I’ve submitted in writing a request for the Billys ban to be reviewed. They said I had to appeal in writing they never said that I couldn’t use social media to submit my written appeal. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram reckon they may of got the message.
Seriousness of Situation
Readers I reckon by now your wondering why the shopping centre has issued such a silly ban. What grudge could they possibly hold against EVERYONE called Billy?!! I confess it’s actually me they don’t like. Well I reckon it’s the stereotype of the rough sleeper they don’t like. They don’t know me can’t even spell my name. It’s because I didn’t spring up and out of my sleeping bag this morning. The picture partly explains why.
Rough sleeping destroys your body and my health is not good now. There just doesn’t seem to be enough blood flowing round my brain when I wake. Just can’t get up it’s not a choice. I try to keep my head warm at night as this is vital for neurological health. Cold can freeze your brain to death. Don’t want that!!!
Legal Rights and Human Wrongs
This is the grim serious part of this post. I can only get healthcare on the sly these days. I try not to think of legal rights or duty to not leave people to sleep in doorways. It hurts too much.
Like every other rough sleeper I’m used to housed people, especially homeless support workers, saying they’ll call the police if I don’t quickly scarper. I used to run quickly but then I thought what have I actually done wrong? What reason have I got to be scared of the police? The answer to both these question is nothing. Being homeless and rough sleeping is not my fault or my choice. Being destitute is not a criminal offence I’ve committed. It’s a Civil matter.
So tonight before I bed down I’ll take a picture of where I’m sleeping. That way you my readers can decide if I’m a trip hazard, a serious endangerment to the health and wellbeing of the public. Or perhaps you’ll decide that I am doing nothing wrong. Perhaps this is a criminal not a civil matter after all.