TWO students have been fined - after holding up signs stating “F*** The Poor” in the middle of St Andrews.
Police were called to the Fife university town’s Market Street on Saturday afternoon after complaints from shoppers.
The pair were wearing sandwich boards bearing the “offensive” message.
It has been claimed they were using the shock tactic to raise awareness of the public’s attitude towards poverty - and that they were also later displaying signs for the Unicef children’s charity.
The stunt echoed a similar experiment by the poverty charity, the Pillion Trust, who sent a man out on the streets in London wearing an identical sandwich board.
He was taken to task by numerous passers-by over the offensive message.
But when the man flipped the sign to say “Help The Poor” and asked for donations he was roundly ignored.
A spokesman for Police Scotland’s Fife Divisions aid the students were given fixed penalty tickets under anti-social behaviour legislation.
If they are not paid within a set period the incident will be reported to the Procurator Fiscal for further action to be taken.
The incident was widely debated on social media after a photo of one of the men was posted on the Overheard In St Andrews Facebook page.
Local woman Patricia Robertson wrote: “There are other ways of getting attention for their cause.
“Have some respect for people who find the use of that word in public offensive and for children please.”
And Ruth Wood branded the stunt “lazy shock tactics giving a very poor image of St Andrews”.
But Kerry Douglas added: “The point of the ‘experiment’ is that they’re trying to show how more people will retaliate when these opinions are shown, but less will interact with the sign holder when they are seeking help for the poor/homeless/charities.”
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