Why you shouldn’t give money to beggars in Sharjah

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Sharjah Police say people fake diseases to exploit charitable sentiments during Ramadan

Sharjah: Efforts to combat begging are being stepped up in Sharjah.

Sharjah Police have launched anti-begging campaigns via various programmes, including distributing booklets in both Arabic and English.

Most beggars exploit people’s religious and charitable sentiments to make easy money, police warn. If you are approached by beggars you can call Sharjah Police and a police patrol will be dispatched to your location.

Police advise people to report any cases of begging immediately because not only do beggars bother people and distort the country’s image, many of them are also involved in illegal activities.

The police said beggars use various methods to extract money from people.

“Some beggars pretend they are handicapped, have a life-threatening disease, are unable to provide for their families or need money for an urgent medical surgery,” a police official said.

In other cases beggars provide fake documents about a fund-raising campaign to build a mosque or a school for orphans in their home country.

Based on studies of past cases, Sharjah Police found that dangerous and organised gangs bring beggars to the country.

“We have realised that groups and individual beggars were issued visas. Our focus is not only on combating street begging but those who assist these individuals.

“Street begging occurs everywhere and in Sharjah we take the matter seriously as it ruins the reputation of the country and it affects the security of the place. The presence of beggars in mosques and shopping malls or any other public area is not a pleasant image for the country,” the official said.

“We have arrested many beggars who were not only disturbing the public with their illegal activities but were involved in robberies, crime and prostitution.”

Police urge the public not to fall for scams by these individuals and to contact the police when they find a street beggar.

The official added beggars are dangerous and can injure people and steal from them in residential areas. They stand the whole day in front of residential buildings, watching and gathering information about residents. Police cameras monitor beggars without their knowledge and show the footage to the public to illustrate how beggars operate.

A police camera shot beggars who spent their day begging and at night either slept in a luxury hotel using the money earned from begging, rented a luxury car or bought expensive clothes. Police have found many beggars to be in possession of thousands of dirhams, and some enter the country on a visa solely for the purpose of begging.

Police have urged the public to approach charitable organisations directly so they can forward their donations to people who are really in need.

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