Begging investigation removes five children from Alicante streets

ALICANTE police are looking at whether a criminal network is using minors to beg in the city centre.
Local police have opened an investigation to determine if there is a plot to use foreign children for begging after five youngsters, aged between 13 and 14, were identified in Avenida de Maisonnave.
Officers proceeded to locate their parents and one child was taken to a juvenile facility after her family could not be found. Police are now working with Social Services to clarify whether these children are vulnerable and if they are being used for begging; an act that is totally prohibited.
If an infringement of the bylaw is found, fines ranging between €1,500 and €3,000 would be considered and parents also face the loss of custody of their children. The Office of Violence Against Women, which is responsible for matters concerning minors, is also involved in the case.
The move comes as just last week The Euro Weekly News announced that police controls were discovering an increase in the incidence of young children begging in the streets. Alicante’s councillor for Security, Juan Seva, said: “Begging in the streets with children is totally banned and we are stepping up surveillance to control the situation.”

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