SAFEGUARDING issues are always difficult to deal with, but where does it end for one person and start for others?

We have a worrying story this week which will doubtless be echoed across the country, if not globally.

A homeless woman who choses to live that way has recently been causing problems for a community which has been trying to help her.

For a few years now she has had the benefit of people looking out for her, providing her with essentials. But when offered accommodation from the authorites she has always turned it down. No one is sure why. Some people prefer to be unconventional.

But a fine line has been crossed recently where the person has suddenly become a little more vulnerable.

She had changed from someone you would have a conversation with quite happily to someone who is said to be throwing objects at people and, more worryingly, screaming loudly and for hours at night.

She is not far from residential properties and families are naturally concerned.

But what is the right thing to do? Apparelty she is mentally alert with 'capacity' but still refusing somewhere to live. She seems to be happy to accept food, but not a home. It appears the authorities can not intervene at this point. She is not breaking any laws that we know of - unles it can be regarded a public order offence. But how can you encourage people to help themselves when they refuse such help?

Those living nearby are not only worried about her, they are being deprived of sleep when she is causing a nuisance.

If she becomes ill she will be forced to seek help. Hopefully there will be some way of helping her before that happens, for hers and for residents' mental health.