Dubai Police will launch its annual anti-begging campaign before Ramadan.
The police presence in the emirate will increase during the one-month drive, particularly in areas, such as markets and by mosques, in which beggars are found most often.
“Last year during the holy month, police officers arrested 458 beggars including 311 men and 147 women from different nationalities,” said Brig Jamal Salem Al Jallaf, director of Dubai Police’s General Department of Criminal Investigation.
He said the campaign was run to educate the public about the dangers of begging.
“We urge members of the public to report beggars who exploit people’s generosity during the holy month to collect money,” he said.
Brig Al Jallaf urged people not to be deceived by beggars. He said this led to an increase in crimes.
“Different crimes can result from begging such as burglary and abusing children, elderly and people of determination to raise money illegally,” he said.
Police also warned against falling for “sob stories” shared on social media, including WhatsApp, by people asking for money.
“People should not show compassion to beggars’ fake appearances and not deal with them at all,” said Col Ali Salim, director of the CID anti-infiltrators department.
“They must instead help police by reporting beggars.”