Clampdown on beggars
A team of cops have taken to Abu Dhabi streets to clampdown on beggars in the UAE capital.
Brigadier Maktoum Al Sharifi, director-general of Abu Dhabi Police said begging damages the country’s image and becomes rife during Ramadan.
Police say beggars target people leaving mosques and will knock on the doors of homes during the Holy Month to take advantage of people’s generosity as this time is seen as a period of giving.
Police also say these violators have a mistaken belief that security is lax during this month.
“We have chalked strategies to combat the phenomenon especially during Ramadan and this includes setting up a special team to catch the beggars,” said Al Sharifi adding that non-uniformed officers and patrols are being deployed near mosques, banks and shopping malls.
Al Sharifi said the beggars are using more elaborate ways to gain sympathy. He said some don traditional dress or even express their desire to build a mosque.
“Some of these people also pretend to be ill or have permanent injury or disability to evoke goodwill and sympathy,” he added.
The officer warned beggars will be fined, imprisoned and deported.
Major General Mohammad Bin Al Awadi Menhali chief of police operations at Abu Dhabi Police said: “The majority of beggars we catch have come here from Asian and some Arab countries and many of them are professional beggars who enter the country on visit visas purely to make money through begging.”
People have been urged to report beggars by calling police on 800 2626 or by texting 2828.
The Ministry of Interior said recently that those shopping illegal residents including beggars or those overstaying their visas will be given a Dhs500 reward.