NETWORK OF BEGGARS BLIGHT BENIDORM STREETS
The Local Police in Benidorm have asked the court to reopen proceedings against a network that is operating in the town and forcing people to beg on the streets. They allege an offense against the rights of citizens and human trafficking relating to an organised gang.
The councilor for Public Safety, José Marcet, said that the claim arose following a campaign by the local police and municipal social services where they had identified a number of different locations, and individuals, all of whom were begging. They seemed to be an organized group that was moved around the town in a van, six people that plied their trade in several different places on a regular basis.
In the course of the investigation, the local police identified the individuals and seized their collection of 580 euros. They initially appeared in court on 19 May.
But a study of by the Social Welfare department on the beggars suggests that 42.22% of these are "probably victims or members of an organization" and all of them are of the same nationality, 26.32% with "disabilities".
Marcet stated that the people of Benidorm will not allow "organized groups to operate in the city, many of whom are seemingly being exploited." Hence, he has now raised the findings with the city Prosecutor.
In publishing the report, the councillor said that 27.78% of people who carry out begging in Benidorm are social outcasts and live on the public streets by necessity. Meanwhile results also identify 14.4% who beg as a "profession." These are people who "usually have a large enough income, to afford both housing as well as pay for their food and hygiene needs."
Another 15.6% of the sample, which was conducted on 90 people who practice begging has not been listed due to a lack of information.
Marcet said that, of all the beggars identified on Benidorm’s streets, three have received assistance from consulates and associations in the city; two, have been granted an allowance; while one has been offered employment; another has received healthcare; three have also been provided with food and accommodation and one has been admitted to lower school.
According to the councillor, the data shows that the ordinance "is fulfilling the purpose for which it was created and continues to deliver aid and social services to the people who really need it."
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/43934/