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  • Northside West

New measures to tackle begging

Thursday, 31st January, 2019 8:00am
New measures to tackle begging
New measures to tackle begging

NEW efforts are to be made to tackle persistent and sometimes aggressive begging outside shops and businesses in Ballymun and Finglas according to a local councillor.

Cllr Paul McAuliffe (FF) says locals feel intimidated by the begging, which is often done in a desperate effort to feed drug habits.

One of the measures expected to be introduced is the deployment of an outreach worker to liaise with and offer support to those begging in the locality.

Cllr McAuliffe is encouraging locals not to give money to beggars and says addressing the underlying issues that lead people to beg is the only way of dealing with the problem in a meaningful way.

“It’s often assumed that begging is an issue confined to the city centre or very densely populated places but changes in patterns of addiction have resulted in an increase of begging outside neighbourhood shops,” he added.

“Residents in Finglas and the surrounding areas have been raising this issue at Safety Forum meetings for quite some time now.

“It’s only a natural reaction for a person to be fearful of being approached by a stranger asking for money. Locals can be made feel intimated and do not feel safe being approached, particularly at night time.

“It’s important that elderly, more vulnerable people wishing to go to their local shops feel safe and protected.”

The Finglas Safety Forum together with the Finglas Cabra Local Drugs Taskforce and the HSE have been tasked with tackling the issue Cllr McAuliffe said.

“The Gardaí locally continue to try their best to monitor the situation but they are constrained given that while it is a criminal offence to aggressively beg, it’s not a crime to seek money from passers-by on the street,” he continued.

“Business owners and their staff are frustrated about it having a knock on effect and annoyed about having to deal with it on a daily basis.

“Shifting these people on to simply beg at another location is not a solution. Ultimately these individuals need long-term support.

“I’m optimistic that new targeted action in the area will bring the issue under some control and that those relying on begging to survive or fund problem drug use are given a bridge towards leading healthier lives.” 

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