Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Interior will launch an anti-begging campaign during Ramadan, under the slogan “fight begging and help those who deserve it”.
The campaign aims to curb begging and bolstering the social responsibility of members of society. It will raise awareness on the dangers of responding to beggars. Teams from the police and relevant bodies will intensify their presence and patrols across the UAE, in addition to carrying out a comprehensive awareness media campaign that will be organised by unified branch committee at the ministry and implemented by the Security Media Department.
Saif Abdullah Al Shaafar, undersecretary at the ministry, said that the ministry is very keen on combating this negative phenomenon that harms the civilised image of the UAE. Al Shaafar pointed out that begging is a form of swindling, with many beggars attempting to deceive members of society by exploiting their emotions.
Al Shaafar pointed out that the ministry is implementing its plans as per a set timeline to ensure the campaign’s efficiency in achieving desired goals. He pointed out that the police are exerting massive efforts to combat begging by carrying out inspection campaigns and raising public awareness in order to curb uncivilised and illegal behaviour. He said that begging gives a bad impression of UAE society and poses a danger to the public because some beggars wind up committing other crimes such as theft while using begging as a front.
The unified branch committee has already set mechanisms and agenda for awareness campaigns for 2017, which will be carried out during Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr. Major Abdul Mutalib Al Hammadi, chairman of the branch committee, urged members of the public to follow the social media accounts of the ministry and the general police directorates because they are key platforms for awareness campaigns.
Last year, a beggar in Dubai made international headlines after police caught him with thousands of dirhams in his possession.
In 2016, Gulf News reported that Dubai Municipality inspectors arrested a beggar who was making as much as Dh270,000 per month.
Local authorities have been carrying out year-long campaigns to combat begging along Dubai’s streets and intensifying a crackdown during and in the run-up to Ramadan.
According to Dubai Police, patrols will monitor public places, shopping centres, mosques and residential areas as part of the ongoing anti-begging campaign.
First Lieutenant Mohammad Al Hamadi, head of criminal investigation Department in General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai, also warned travel companies to be careful when they issue visas for individuals since many beggars come to the UAE on visit visa.