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> Should Begging Be Made Illegal?, Calls for city centre begging to be criminalised
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:
"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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Posts in this topic
- GG   Should Begging Be Made Illegal?   21st Jan 2014, 09:45pm
- - GEORGE MCGEACHIE   QUOTE "Overall, we need to continue the focus...   21st Jan 2014, 10:42pm
- - mlconnelly   A few years ago my cousin saw a guy begging on Sau...   21st Jan 2014, 10:45pm
- - margie   Mlconnelly, My daughter did the same. Went into a ...   21st Jan 2014, 10:58pm
- - mlconnelly   I'd bet it was the same guy, Margie. Mary   21st Jan 2014, 11:05pm
- - mlconnelly   The guy she tried to help was as Glaswegian as I a...   21st Jan 2014, 11:10pm
- - big les glasgow   Another thing that should be banned is selling ...   21st Jan 2014, 11:13pm
- - TeeHeeHee   What folks don't seem to realise is that stree...   21st Jan 2014, 11:15pm
- - DavidT   I feel for any person who has nothing. It's a ...   21st Jan 2014, 11:42pm
|- - Guvin Jimm   QUOTE (DavidT @ 21st Jan 2014, 11:59pm) I...   22nd Jan 2014, 02:02am
|- - Ossie   QUOTE (DavidT @ 21st Jan 2014, 11:59pm) I...   22nd Jan 2014, 03:14am
- - Yogihughes   There is no reason for ANYONE to be "begging ...   22nd Jan 2014, 12:10am
- - tarheels   people beg because there hungry or need a few doll...   22nd Jan 2014, 12:10am
- - garthmacgirr   I live in Toronto, Canada. While we do have a few...   22nd Jan 2014, 01:15am
|- - *Billy*   QUOTE (garthmacgirr @ 22nd Jan 2014, 01:3...   22nd Jan 2014, 01:54am
- - angel   The province of Ontario introduced its Safe Street...   22nd Jan 2014, 01:17am
- - UPYKLT   The first thing that comes to my mind, is what abo...   22nd Jan 2014, 01:45am
- - jcjamieson   Let's face facts. The whole of Britain has bec...   22nd Jan 2014, 02:57am
- - ARu-999   I think I am with the majority of people here in f...   22nd Jan 2014, 03:06am
- - Old Sailor   Begging is the product of a disrupted society so b...   22nd Jan 2014, 03:22am
- - Freda   Todays begging should be illegal, it is a scam. I...   22nd Jan 2014, 03:26am
- - gordonmarr   I am subjected to aggressive begging by Roma peopl...   22nd Jan 2014, 04:48am
- - ARu-999   Gordon, If your policeman thinks being hacked of...   22nd Jan 2014, 05:27am
- - Dave Grieve   My son in-law has a 100 percent cure for begging, ...   22nd Jan 2014, 05:39am
- - gardenqueen   Apart from the occasional Big Issue seller, we don...   22nd Jan 2014, 07:26am
- - Ancara   I don't give money to beggars with cups held o...   22nd Jan 2014, 07:46am
- - Jupiter   My words to describe them? Skanky Chancers who sit...   22nd Jan 2014, 08:01am
- - Dylan   Begging in Scotland is not illegal. We have no Va...   22nd Jan 2014, 08:24am
- - George Brown   At the risk of ''sweeping a short fall of ...   22nd Jan 2014, 09:06am
- - Karidian   I think a lot of folk here are unaware of how litt...   22nd Jan 2014, 09:18am
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