Warning: infiltration of Maple Road

15 years ago...

I was walking down Maple Road tonight when I was approached by a well dressed, middle aged man.

I thought he was going to ask for directions, but as soon as he spoke I knew his game - 'Have you got a jack?' he asked. I was on foot, walking home with an Indian takeaway, so it was hardly likely.

When I said I did not have one, he said that his car had broken down there (pointed to The Mall) and asked for 90p to get the bus.

Apart from the fact that the bus now costs £2 for cash, what on earth possesses a normal person like this to lower themselves to begging for 90p?! I have seen YMCA-type scum resort to this type of tactic around the station, but this guy looked like a real person, not one that has spent the last 6 months out of his face on drugs.

I had not even finished giving my excuses for not giving him the money before he tried the same trick on someone else.

I await the comments saying how mean and rude I have been to this very deserving individual etc etc.


bah humbug

This thing left the YMCA, went over to Boots, nicked a shaver, went to the river roads, mugged a dude for his suit, found £1.10 in the pockets and realised there wasn’t enough to catch a bus the 50 yards back to his slum!

Pop into my congregation on Sunday and praise forgiveness to the lord!

Could well be!

Seriously, though when I said well dressed, I just meant that he was not wearing the standard tracksuit and t-shirt combination that you would expect the scum who try this sort of trick to be wearing.

I think it was that, combined with the fact he could talk properly that led me to believe that he did not come from the YMCA.

oh dear lord mate,

I'm all against con artists but come on, you're so surprised and upset because you've been approached by 'one of your own' someone who can 'speak properly'- someone who is 'well dressed'. There is life outside the middle classes and it sadly isn't as cosy as some of the 'scum' who are staying at the YMCA have experienced.

The saddest thing is that you wouldn't have given this bloke asking for a jack the time of day if he had been wearing a tracksuit and he probably knows that, therefore in my opinion making him a fair bit sharper than you...

I had forgotten all about this! I wouldn't say that it makes him any sharper - I didn't give him the time of day even thouh e was properly dressed.

I must say that this sort of thing has really improved in Surbiton over the last few months - I haven't seen a travelcard beggar outside the station for a while, and the YMCA troublemakers seem to have really calmed down.

Long may it continue, and I hope that the recent occupation of Ravens Ait will not 'take up the slack' in this regard.

Oh, so he also went into Martins Newsagents and nicked a Linguaphone cd

The congregation will cleanse his sole

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