Beggars Banned In Belgian City

Namur Railway Station off limit to beggars Credit: Michielverbeek CC

WHILST there is no doubt that some people need to beg in order to survive, it is clear that there are others who treat begging as a profession.

Politicians in the Belgian city of Namur are trying a social experiment by banning beggars from the vicinity of shopping centres and other select areas.

The initial scope of the ban, sees begging within 20 metres of all selected locations, many of which are near Namur Railway Station banned for four months until the beginning of November.

Speaking to local press, Namur mayor Maxime Prévot (who has filled that role since 2012) explained that there has been a significant increase in the disruption caused by beggars in the city centre during the first six months of the year.

It was noted that the number of incidents caused by problems with beggars around the shopping centres had increased from 27 in January to 53 in June.

He believes that it is the responsibility of the council to ensure that shoppers and business should be able to engage in areas that are clean, safe, well turned out and without having to ran a gauntlet of sometimes aggressive or drunk beggars.

It is assumed that should the general response be positive following the trial period and that there are fewer disturbances then the council will give serious consideration to extending the ban especially as Christmas will be just around the corner.

The question arises however as to whether those who are in true need of support will be simply pushed to one side or whether the council will take action to identify those in genuine need and offer them some form of support as winter closes in.

As for those who are simply using the opportunity to try to force passers by to give them money, it is quite possible if their main collection sites are off limits then they will move elsewhere.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development. Share your story with us by emailing, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page