Dubai Police make 178 arrests in first two weeks of anti-begging drive

The force called on the public not to be duped by offenders out to exploit their generosity and instead support approved charities

Dubai Police have urged the public not to encourage beggars during the holy month. The National
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Dubai Police arrested 178 people in the first two weeks of an annual anti-begging drive.

The force has increased patrols in begging hotspots such as markets and near mosques to remove offenders who pose a “serious threat” to public safety.

Incidents of begging typically increase during Ramadan, as offenders seek to exploit the goodwill of the public.

Police have called on people keen to help others to give generously to approved charities.

Begging is illegal in the UAE, and police say members of the public may inadvertently fuel crime by giving cash to those asking for help on the streets.

Officers said some criminals will feign disability or illness, or use children to draw sympathy and encourage the public to part with their dirhams.

Police arrested 134 men and 44 women for begging offences between March 18 and April 2.

“Our team was formed before the beginning of the holy month to combat begging across the emirate and to monitor places expected to be frequented by beggars,” said Colonel Ahmed Al Adidi, acting director of anti-infiltrators at Dubai Police’s CID.

“Begging poses a serious threat to the safety and security of our society. We take the matter seriously as it ruins the reputation of the emirate and also affects the security as it increases cases of thefts and pickpocketing.”

Offenders can face up to three months in prison and a fine of Dh5,000 for begging and a minimum of six months and a fine of Dh100,000 for organising begging.

People are urged to report beggars to the toll-free number 901 or through the Police Eye service on the Dubai Police App or on www.ecrime.ae.

Police arrested 458 people for begging during Ramadan in 2021.

Updated: April 05, 2022, 8:46 AM
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