Police in Dubai are intensifying their efforts to combat street begging, a crime that usually increases during Ramadan. The “Combat Street Beggars Campaign” will run until Eid Al Fitr. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: In a bid to disclose how easy it is to make a living from begging, a female reporter from the local media has gone undercover as a beggar and received Dh150 in 20 minutes, Dubai Police said.

The reporter was not from Gulf News.

Lt Colonel Jamal Salem Al Jallaf, Deputy Director General of Criminal Investigations (DCI) for Management Affairs at the Dubai Police, said in a statement that the reporter had previously acquired police permission to go undercover, and chose a shopping centre to beg.

“A police officer spotted the reporter fully veiled and standing in front of a shop. She was informed that it is against the law to beg and was advised to seek assistance from a charity organisation. The woman ignored the police officer and within 10 minutes, was escorted outside by a female police officer and into a police patrol,” said Lt Col Al Jallaf.

Dubai Police have launched a campaign against begging since July 17 and have arrested a total of 131 beggars, including 19 women. The campaign is carried out in collaboration with Dubai Municipality, Dubai Immigration and the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities, and focuses on cutting down the number of beggars during Ramadan.

Lt Col Al Jallaf pointed out that women take advantage of the holy month of Ramadan for begging, and exploit the good intentions of residents while also abusing the nature of the veil in order to gain more sympathy.

He noted that beggars have taken up several tricks while begging and pretend to be disabled, while others claim that their money was stolen and have no means to return home.