x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

23 beggars including a child arrested in 5 months in Abu Dhabi

Police are calling on the public to refrain from giving to beggars through an awareness campaign called 'Don't Let Beggars Exploit Your Sympathy'.

ABU DHABI // Twenty-three beggars including a child have been arrested in the capital in five months.

Nineteen are male and the other four female. Seventeen are between the ages of 18 and 35, and five between 36 and 53, Abu Dhabi Police said yesterday. The minor's age was not revealed.

Brig Gen Maktoum Al Sharifi, head of the Abu Dhabi City Police, described begging as "ill behaviour" that increases during Ramadan to "capitalise on the sympathy of citizens and residents to earn money without effort".

"There is no place for beggars in our society,"said Brig Gen Al Sharifi. He said special teams had been set up to carry out inspections as part of a police crackdown on "profiteering from mendacity".

Police are calling on the public to refrain from giving to beggars through an awareness campaign called "Don't Let Beggars Exploit Your Sympathy".

Brig Gen Al Sharifi commended the efforts of more than 20 Emiratis and expatriates who reported beggars.

He said the community's cooperation was vital to stopping the trend, which poses a safety risk to residents.

As most beggars are illegal residents, those who are arrested are swiftly deported.

newsdesk@thenational.ae