UAE: Sharjah Police target ‘seasonal’ beggars in Ramadan

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A visual for the campaign
Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: Efforts to combat begging have been stepped up in Sharjah during Ramadan, with the police urging the public to report beggars.

Most beggars exploit people’s religious and charitable sentiments to make easy money, police warned, saying that a public complaint would be followed up by a police patrol that would be despatched to the location from where any incident of begging is reported.

Police said incidents of begging are not only a public nuisance, but also distort the country’s image, as those involved carry out illegal activities.

Sharjah Police have launched an anti-begging campaign in multiple languages — Arabic, English and Urdu — to raise public awareness.

Risks posed by begging

As part of its initiatives to reduce and combat begging, the Sharjah Police General Command, represented by the Media and Public Relations Department, in cooperation with the Anti-Beggary Committee, has launched its awareness campaign under the slogan ‘Begging is a crime and giving is a responsibility’, with the aim of educating members of the public about the risks that begging poses to society.

Brigadier Arif bin Hudaib, director of media and public relations department at Sharjah Police, said awareness messages will be disseminated through social media accounts of Sharjah Police on a regular basis.

Brig Bin Hudaib said donations by the public should necessarily be made through approved charity associations and officially-approved agencies.

Lieutenant Colonel Jassim Mohammed bin Taliah, head of the beggar control team at Sharjah Police, said residents in the emirate are being advised to call the dedicated numbers and report what is described as “seasonal begging”.

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How to report beggars

He pointed out that the campaign communication channels provided by Sharjah Police, through the 80040 and 901 numbers,or through the ‘Guard’ service available on Sharjah Police’s smart app or its website as well as through the field campaigns of the control teams that patrol the roads of the emirate.

Lt Col Bin Taliah stated that the campaign against begging continues and legal measures will be undertaken against those arrested.

“Those who have limited resources or face difficult [financial] situations in the UAE can contact any of the authorised charity and humanitarian organisations, who will study their individual cases and offer them help within the legal framework,” Lt Col Bin Taliah said.

“Police patrols have been deployed at places frequented by beggars. They take advantage of Ramadan and go to mosques and markets, banks and residential areas to ask people for money.”