Sharjah: As many as 143 beggars were arrested since the launch of an anti-begging campaign by authorities in Sharjah, officials said on Tuesday.

Colonel Ebrahim Al Ajel, director of the Criminal Investigation Department at Sharjah Police, said 143 beggars were arrested in Sharjah since the beginning of Ramadan. Residents in the emirate are being asked to call dedicated numbers and report what is described as “seasonal begging”.

The “Combat Begging & Help Indigents” campaign kicked off on first day of Ramadan and aims to curb the beggar menace.

Residents can call 901 and hotline number 80040 and report instances of begging in Sharjah.

“The aim of this campaign is to encourage the public to cooperate with the police and protect the emirate,” he said.

Police said the number of beggars arrested decreased by 24 per cent compared to last year’s Ramadan when 189 beggars were arrested. Of the 143 caught this year, 56 were women, he said.

“Police patrols have been deployed at places where beggars frequent. They take advantage of Ramadan and go to mosques and markets, banks and residential areas to ask people for money. People who have limited resources or face difficult situations in the UAE can contact any of the authorised charity and humanitarian organisations, who will study their individual cases and offer them help in a legal and safe manner,” Col Al Ajel said.