11,000 beggars arrested in Jeddah last year

11,000 beggars arrested in Jeddah last year
Updated 07 December 2013

11,000 beggars arrested in Jeddah last year

11,000 beggars arrested in Jeddah last year

The anti-begging office in Jeddah arrested 11,000 beggars last year, and 99 percent of them were Asian and African nationals, both males and females. Revealing this to Arab News, Sa’d Ash-Shahrani, director of the unit, said Saudi citizens accounted for just 45 individuals of the total arrested.
“It’s very unfortunate that the number of beggars in Jeddah is increasing by the day. We apprehend anywhere between five and 10 beggars daily. We know that begging is an international phenomenon that cannot be completely eradicated, but it can be minimized at least,” he said.
The arrest of beggars is a coordinated effort with several government agencies including the police, passport office, Mujahideen teams, traffic department, task force, field force and criminal investigation.
Once they are apprehended, he said, they are turned over to the police department and the deportation division at the passport office, for necessary action with regard to their deportation.
“About 90 percent of the beggars apprehended do not have any identity documents. As for the Saudis, we conduct social research, and we make them sign an undertaking not to return to begging. Those who are really in need are sent to social insurance, labor bureau and charitable institutions to provide them with help,” he said. Beggars are normally found around the shopping centers, traffic lights, and the mosques.
“You can also find on the main streets and squares. They concoct tragic stories about their families to derive sympathy from people. You see them rush to vehicles stopping at traffic lights. Many citizens tell us that they live in certain areas, from where they begin their begging during the day,” he said.