Shock as rough sleeper sets up home in “freezing” Peterborough phone box

The man in the phonebox
The man in the phonebox
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A Peterborough resident was shocked after seeing a homeless man setting up a camp in a phonebox on a busy city street.

Ansar Ali, who is a community volunteer, said he spotted the man in the booth on Gladstone Street this morning (Thursday).

The homeless man has set up his home in the box, even putting sheets up to act as a curtain. He was using hessian type material to keep himself warm.

He has contacted Peterborough City Council in an attempt to get help for the man.

Mr Ali said: “I could not believe it when I saw it. You can’t believe something like this could happen in today’s world.

“I went to see him, and sat and had a cup of tea with him for a while. When I got home I emailed the police and the council to try and get something done as soon as possible.

I was overcome with emotion when I saw him. It has caused me a lot of distress.

Ansar Ali

“I don’t want him staying there a moment longer. It is freezing outside.

“I was overcome with emotion when I saw him. It has caused me a lot of distress.

“A few people came out to help him.

“I spoke with him, and he said he had been there for a couple of days. He said no-one was helping him.

“There is a school near-by, and the children will have seen it.

“It sends the wrong message to children. They should not have the message that this is acceptable.

“We are in Great Britain, and have high standards of humanity and decency.”

Mr Ali took photographs of the man to show how he was living in the box.

The Peterborough Telegraph visited the phonebox this morning, and the man was still living there, but spoke little English.

A Peterborough City Council spokesman said they were looking into the matter.