© Image d'illustration/AFP
Facing accusations of 'capitulating' faced with organised beggars, the government has highlighted the practical difficulties of pursuing career beggars.
In a parliamentary question, CSV MPs Laurent Mosar and Gilles Roth have criticised the government's inaction faced concerning organised begging. The MPs pointed out that the judicial authorities only seem to raise awareness, citing the high amount of police flyers warning against organised begging. As a result, MPs asked whether "the state must accept the accusation that it capitulates towards this type of infraction".
Minister of Internal Security François Bausch and Minister of Justice Félix Braz denied the MPs accusation, reminding the MPs that it has been difficult for the authorities to prove organised begging, which requires proving that at least two people have been collaborating in panhandling.
Sentences ranging from eight days to one month
A further difficulty pointed out by ministers is that the individuals investigated for organised begging often have no fixed address - either in Luxembourg or abroad -, which in turns makes a criminal investigation complex.
The ministers dismissed the claim that the judicial authorities have capitulated to this type of crime, as the MPs suggested. Instead, the ministers highlighted that repression alone will not curb the phenomenon. Organised begging is punished by prison sentences ranging from eight days to one month.