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> Should Begging Be Made Illegal?, Calls for city centre begging to be criminalised
GG
post 21st Jan 2014, 09:45pm
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Anyone shopping in Glasgow city centre over the last month may have witnessed an increase in the number of beggars soliciting money from passers-by walking along the city's pedestrianised thoroughfares. The situation has been aggravated by a new type of beggar who has introduced new high-profile begging techniques.

One of the most controversial of the new cadging techniques is the advent of 'barefoot begging', where a shoe-less – and often apparently distressed – beggar takes up a prominent position in a city centre street. Barefoot begging has been described as a "scam" by Chief Inspector Alan Porte, the police officer in charge of Glasgow's city centre policing.

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Despite the controversy around the new begging techniques, the the city's police and community support officers remain unable to stop the contentious practice because, unlike in England, passive street begging is not illegal on Scottish streets. In response to the lack of effective police powers over street begging in Scotland, Tory MSP Bill Aitken has urged Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill to bring in legislation to "get a grip" of what he says is a growing in Glasgow. However, Mr MacAskill has responded by saying that the Scottish Government would continue to pursue a policy of "multi-agency engagement" rather than "criminalising individuals with complex social needs".

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Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce said:
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"We welcome any proposals which recognise begging as a persistent problem within the city. It is a continuing nuisance and undermines confidence in the attractiveness of the city centre especially.

Whilst of course the root causes behind the issue need to be tackled, we support activities which seek to reduce the incidence of begging. Many businesses have expressed strong opinions at the damage it can do to trade with members of the public irritated and occasionally intimidated by beggars repeatedly asking them for money.

We have also been made aware of evidence which confirms the existence of ‘organised begging’ carried out by criminals for profit. This is entirely unacceptable and should be a major priority for any proposed legislation.

Overall, we need to continue the focus on ensuring the city centre is a welcoming destination which attracts people from all over the world."

Grant Campbell, the chief executive of the charity Glasgow City Mission, said councils should be looking at measures to reduce poverty if they wanted to reduce the number of street beggars. He added that "a ban on begging would do little to address the reasons people are begging in the first place – no one eagerly chooses to become a beggar".


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*GEORGE MCGEACHIE*
post 21st Jan 2014, 10:42pm
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"Overall, we need to continue the focus on ensuring the city centre is a welcoming destination which attracts people from all over the world."

Begging should be made illegal throughout Scotland.

GMCGEACHIE.
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mlconnelly
post 21st Jan 2014, 10:45pm
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A few years ago my cousin saw a guy begging on Sauchiehall St. Feeling sorry for him, she when to MacDonalds and bought him a meal which he thank her for. Still not happy, she went into Watt Brothers and bought him a fleece. When she went back to find him, she found him in the lane at Watt Bros. changing into his designer jacket and trainers. Needless to say she read him the riot act. I couldn't believe how gullible she'd been. Mary wacko.gif rolleyes.gif
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margie
post 21st Jan 2014, 10:58pm
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Mlconnelly, My daughter did the same. Went into a store in Sauchiehall St purchased a jacket and gave it to a poor looking soul who was wearing a short sleeved tee shirt in the bitter cold. Needless to say next day there he was back on the street begging with no sign of the jacket. Who's kidding who?
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mlconnelly
post 21st Jan 2014, 11:05pm
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I'd bet it was the same guy, Margie. laugh.gif Mary
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mlconnelly
post 21st Jan 2014, 11:10pm
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The guy she tried to help was as Glaswegian as I am. I'm all for criminalising begging, regardless of nationality. Mary
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big les glasgow
post 21st Jan 2014, 11:13pm
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Another thing that should be banned is selling "The BIG ISSUE" outside supermarkets in Clydebank we have a Romanian woman and her son doing Lidl's and Aldi's every week and IMMEDIATELY NEXT TO THE TROLLEYS, both well dressed and a car probably parked nearby.It is most annoying them looking for your pound from your trolley lets give ourselfs space let them sell by all means but not with in 25 metres of a store door, there preying on the OAP's and I find it to be honest A BLOODY PAIN IN THE ASS!!!

PS. ITS THE SAME IS SPAIN BUT LOCALLY THERE BEGGING HAS NOW BEEN STOPPED.
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TeeHeeHee
post 21st Jan 2014, 11:15pm
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What folks don't seem to realise is that street begging is an organised Business with the bosses creaming off a lucrative living. I have seen; in far eastern lands, mothers with crippled children begging and was saddened to learn that the childrens deformaties; twisted feet or legs, were induced by their own mothers.
Whether we'll eventually see that in GB or not at some time to come remains to be seen.
The end result for me was that I stopped carrying lots of loose Change for beggars when I came into town.
Here where I live the favoured spots are outside of the Banks or supermarkets like Lydl or Aldi.
Another scam is when you roll into the Aldi carpark and a woman waves you and Points out a free slot to you. When you get out the car she Hands you a note in German and French language explaining that her husband is too ill to work and she has 4 Young children to feed.
These scams are Europe wide now.


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DavidT
post 21st Jan 2014, 11:42pm
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I feel for any person who has nothing. It's a shame that scammers take advantage of of this side of human nature. It does not alter the fact that some people have nothing. Jail the scammers not the destitute.
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Yogihughes
post 22nd Jan 2014, 12:10am
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There is no reason for ANYONE to be "begging " on the streets of any city in the UK. The UK has one of the best welfare states anywhere in the world and the money AND support provided is enough for people to live without begging.
I know the incoming "flak" will be from those who say " there but for the grace of god" and all that but that is nonsense!
I took steps to ensure that I would NOT require any welfare handouts other than those that I had already paid into, eg. State pension.
I still pay tax on my annual income although retired and rely on no-one but myself and wife to manage our affairs.
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tarheels
post 22nd Jan 2014, 12:10am
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people beg because there hungry or need a few dollars out of the cold , i am 76 years young, when i was a lad i was down an out an had to beg , then i went into the military an earned my engineers degree from 1954 thru 1962 , well not all that long , but 4 years it took me , you don't have to be-leave all beggars , some just do not have a choice , i have worked for the defense office at a military base , DOD for 20 years , an other fine jobs , i am proud of what i have accomplished, Clarence,. tarheels, Rielly !! thumbup.gif


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garthmacgirr
post 22nd Jan 2014, 01:15am
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I live in Toronto, Canada. While we do have a few "street people" who wander around and sometimes sleep on the street (even in winter), their begging is very subtle. If they do anything, it is to hold out a hand or a cup but rarely to say anything.

It is widely believed that most of these people have mental problems. Accordingly, they are often shown sympathy in tangible form (money, clothes, blankets, etc.).

Most people would like to see the beggars off the streets but the beggars refuse food and shelter when offered. You get the impression that the beggars want to be on the streets.
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angel
post 22nd Jan 2014, 01:17am
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The province of Ontario introduced its Safe Streets Act in 1999 to restrict specific kinds of begging, particularly certain narrowly-defined cases of "aggressive" or abusive begging.[9] In 2001 this law survived a court challenge under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.[10] The law was further upheld by the Court of Appeal for Ontario in January 2007.[11]

One response to the anti-panhandling laws which were passed was the creation of the Ottawa Panhandlers Union which fights for the political rights of panhandlers. The union is a shop of the Industrial Workers of the World.

Not sure if this applies to Scotland ..

United Kingdom ..... Begging is illegal under the Vagrancy Act of 1824. However it does not carry a jail sentence and is not well enforced in many cities,[15] although since the Act applies in all public places it is enforced more frequently on public transport.

Seen in Toronto ...... A man begging on the street , and on his card It says , " I need money for more weed " and his tray was pretty full with cash .. laugh.gif


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UPYKLT
post 22nd Jan 2014, 01:45am
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The first thing that comes to my mind, is what about the people who really need help? But then it occurs to me, that Britain, has one of the most generous welfare/social systems in the world. It seems to me that nobody, but nobody in the UK needs go without help. Unless I'm missing something, begging in the UK is a scam.
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**Billy**
post 22nd Jan 2014, 01:54am
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QUOTE (garthmacgirr @ 22nd Jan 2014, 01:32am) *
I live in Toronto, Canada. While we do have a few "street people" who wander around and sometimes sleep on the street (even in winter), their begging is very subtle. If they do anything, it is to hold out a hand or a cup but rarely to say anything.

It is widely believed that most of these people have mental problems. Accordingly, they are often shown sympathy in tangible form (money, clothes, blankets, etc.).

Most people would like to see the beggars off the streets but the beggars refuse food and shelter when offered. You get the impression that the beggars want to be on the streets.

I was house sitting in Sannich for a while and was amazed to see the amount off begging in the streets. This I was told was due to the fact that Victoria was the warmest city in Canada and most were itinerant beggars from other parts of Canada. I was also saddened to see the amount of "First Nation" beggars. I was also annoyed to note that a majority of beggars, far from being mentally challenged, were far fitter and much more robust than myself.

In Australia though begging does exist but not to a grand scale. There is also no need to beg in the streets. When it was allowed by a politically correct state government in Melbourne we had begging with menace. As in Scotland there are state and federal welfare conditions. In London at the turn of the century there were orginized beggar gangs recouping massive amounts of money to enable them middle class living. This would appear to be on the way to becoming the situation in Scotland. The Glasgow council would no doubt to be seen to be "bleeding hearted socialists" and retaining the status quo. Dont let them.
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