One of the volunteers and I were walking through the centre of Leeds last night on our way up to the soup-run when we spotted a couple of guys who we had seen at the soup-run a few weeks before. We didn’t really know them but had had a quick chat with them. As we passed them in the street we both said hello to them. They eyed us very suspiciously and then one asked us, “are you cops?” After a bit of explaining they remembered us from previously and joked about the mistake.
As we walked away we realised that one of the reasons that we choose to do this work, and that it needs to be done, is that for these guys the only people who tend to take any kind of an interest in them are police officers. Hence when someone they don’t know says hello; they presume you are a cop!