A major homeless charity is urging people not to give money to beggars this Christmas. The comments by Thames Reach, which provides support to more than 8,500 homeless people in London and surrounding counties every year, are likely to reignite the debate about the merits of giving cash to people who ostensibly live on the streets. Thames Reach is citing "overwhelming evidence that people who beg on the street do so to buy hard drugs, particularly crack cocaine and heroin". "Giving to people who beg is not a benign act without consequences."