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Dubai Police Launches Campaign to Combat Begging; Announces Hefty Fines

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on March 1, 2024, 17:56:37


Dubai, uae, begging, fine, Ramadan, Dubai Police, residnets


Dubai authorities are taking stern action to address the issue of begging in the Emirate with the aim of raising awareness on the importance of preserving the civilized image of the Emirate.

As part of this move, the Dubai Police General Command announced the launch of its annual “Fight Begging” campaign, which continues throughout the holy month of Ramadan.

This announcement came during a press conference held by the General Department of Criminal Investigations and Investigations at its headquarters in Dubai, in the presence of Brigadier Dr Saeed Abdullah Al Qamzi, Assistant Director of the General Department of Investigations for Criminal Operations Affairs, Brigadier Ali Salem Al Shamsi, Director of the Suspects and Criminal Phenomena Department, and Brigadier Nabil Al Redha, Director of the Emergency Department at the General Department of Security.

The campaign will be supported by General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai, the Dubai Municipality and the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai.

Brigadier Dr Saeed Abdullah Al Qamzi said that Dubai Police annually monitors new methods used by beggars such as using social media platforms and new technologies to lure their victims, pointing out that "beggars exploit the compassion and generosity of people, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan. This behavior is seen as detrimental to the security and well-being of society".

Those found begging will face strict penalties, including a minimum fine of Dh5,000 and up to three months in prison.
Individuals caught organising begging activities and bringing people from abroad to participate in them will face severe penalties, including a minimum imprisonment of six months and a fine not less than Dh100,000.

The authorities have noted a concerning rise in the exploitation of social media platforms to promote begging, often under false pretenses of assisting those in need. Dubai Police emphasise that stringent actions will be taken to combat such deceptive practices.

According to the Information Technology Crime Law of 2012, article 5, anyone using information technology means to solicit or promote fundraising without an approved licence from the competent authority shall be fined not less than Dh250,000 and not more than Dh500,000, or subject to either of these penalties.

Authorities strongly advise residents against giving money to beggars and instead encourage them to utilise official channels for charitable donations and assistance. This ensures that contributions reach legitimate recipients and deserving causes through recognised charitable organisations and institutions. According to Dubai Police, 99 per cent of beggars perceive begging as a profession.

Residents are urged to cooperate with law enforcement by reporting any instances of begging in residential areas or outside shops. Dr Saeed Al Qamzi said that complaints can be lodged through the Dubai Police app or by calling 901.

Dubai Police have identified numerous individuals and groups accumulating substantial sums of money through begging. Colonel Al Qemzi reported that over 1,700 beggars were apprehended and punished between 2020 and 2023, including 487 females and 1,238 males.

To raise awareness about the issue of begging, the police plan to employ various mediums, such as panels in residential areas, ATM screens and 300 display screens across 26 Union Co-op supermarket branches.

Furthermore, awareness campaigns will be integrated into Friday prayer sermons, with lectures on begging scheduled after each of the five daily prayers.

Brigadier Ali Salem called on members of the public to report beggars by calling the toll-free number 901 or through the “Police Eye” service available on the Dubai Police application on smart phones, in addition to reporting electronic crimes or cases of electronic begging via the e-Crime service.

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