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Gardaí Issue Warning Over "Romanian Organised Begging" In These Irish Cities

By Darragh Berry

December 20, 2017 at 7:35pm

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The Irish Examiner is reporting that people from Romania are taking part in organised begging all over Ireland.

A senior Garda member, Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin, said that Gardaí found return airline tickets to Romania in the possession of members of a group who were arrested in Cork City recently.

They were later prosecuted for offences under begging legislation.

It is believed that some of those involved in the arrest arrived into the country via Cork or Dublin Airport and moved to many cities including major ones like Galway, Limerick and Cork.

“We have secured some evidence to suggest that some elements of these people who are involved in begging are organised,” said Chief Supt McPolin.

“Some of the prosecutions which have now been dealt with involved people who had purchased flight tickets from Romania to here, and they had return tickets as well.

"They were coming in and out, we believe, to use Cork as a base to get involved in begging activity.”

It is believed that some of the Romanians availed of homeless charity services and members of the Cork Business Association said that they were occupying "prime begging locations" in the city.

Cork Business Association president Pat O’Connell says that he is worried that a 'Mr Big' is also involved in the begging scam.

Under the Public Order Act 2011, people can be prosecuted for seeking money from the public on the street without a permit or licence.

The Act does not ban bagging but prosecution can happen when the begging coincides with harassment, intimidation, assaults, threats, or obstructions of persons or vehicles.

Something to keep an eye out for on the streets this Christmas...

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