“There are various reasons why the law on begging needs to be reformed..”

After rejecting the Chief Constable’s proposed cost-cutting measures – to balance this year’s policing budget – members of the Policing Board are meeting today with Northern Ireland Justice Minister Paul Goggins, MP. Meanwhile, in Ireland, Justice Minister Dermot Ahern is proposing a new law against certain forms of begging..

“There are various reasons why the law on begging needs to be reformed, not least the fact that some vulnerable members of the public are often fearful when approached on the streets by individuals,” the Minister for Justice added.

Mr Goggins was unavailable for comment.. Update From Mr Goggins – “Both the Government and the Board want the same thing..”

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  • George

    FYI Pete,
    begging legislation is being introduced because all the old legislation, which dates back from British rule was struck down as unconstitutional a couple of years ago.

    Currently, there is no legislation whatsoever on begging, including begging involving large groups.

    This legislation only targets group begging involving intimidation. Don’t know how that will work myself.

    I believe the UK has in place legislation allowing it to impose a total ban on begging in any areas it sees fit, including making individual begging a recordable offence.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    who gives a hoot what the Republic does, it has damn all to do with the financial difficulties in our policing budget. How about you stay on topic for a change Pete? 😉

  • Greenflag

    ‘Currently, there is no legislation whatsoever on begging, including begging involving large groups. ‘

    Mr Goggins has to tread warily on this one . Could a deputation of NI politicans from the DUP/SF approaching the Chancellor of the Exchequer for say a few extra million fall foul of a Group act? Telling Darling that if he does’nt cough up NI will descend into anarchic conflict once again could be construed by the trained legal mind as effective ‘intimidation’ ?

    This act in the Republic is directed at the Romany gypsies and other groups whose culture sees nothing untoward in pushing forward their little ‘Olivers’ for dosh from passers by .

    Anyway something has to be done because sending them to Van Diemen’s land as would have been the case in the 1800’s is no longer an option. Anyway our Antipodean cousins have enough of their own .

  • niall

    strange amalgamation of topics!

    I think the Vagrancy Act still enforced goes all the way back to the Napoleonic wars and was intoduced to deal with the returning veterans in a hugely depressed era.

    Interesting that this has to be legislated on at this time though, the Celtic Tiger seems to get more sour by the day, as does the elephant in the room that is a government not really fit to govern in a fair and just way. Notice the common factor in the cases cited here?

    The UK authorities catch those defrauding the Irish welfare state!


    Pretty poor governance by the best educated people in the world in the best country to live in in the world.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]strange amalgamation of topics![/i]

    stranger still, I agree with you.

    No doubt Pete will encourage a line of enquiry which connects the two, but I’m not sure sluggerites are ready to join them yet. You’re bit of a dark horse Pete.

  • pith


    Did you get it? Did you? Group begging, shortfall in the police budget, board meeting, more cash please. Did you get it? Did you?