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Monday 19.11.2018 | Name days: Liza, Līze, Elizabete, Betija
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Begging combating measures in Riga remain unsuccessful

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The rules that prohibit poor people beg out on the streets of Riga’s historic centre, as well as use animals for an added emotional effect came into force seven months ago.

Representative of the Riga Police Department Inese Timane noted in an interview to Latvian Radio that the situation has improved slightly since then. However, because of the current cold weather, it is hard to fully assess the situation. “The situation has improved, though slightly. It is also an instrument for the police to work with, asking the beggars to leave the city centre, offering them aid, taking them to shelters and informing them that begging is prohibited.”

One of the reasons why Riga City Council amended the rules governing begging activities in the city in summer last year was because Riga was set to become Europe’s culture capital in 2014. The municipality was worried that the image of beggars on the streets would threaten the tourist trade and delay Riga’s development. However, Riga City Council declined to give Latvian Radio any comments about the successes of the begging combating mechanism.

Riga Police Department representative Timane admits that a too short of a period has passed since the coming into force of the new rules to evaluate any real changes and efficiency: “We will be able to say more when summer comes. It will also become clearer then, because cold weather generally makes people seek warmth and shelter, so there are not many people outside.”

Police officers are authorized to give a verbal warning or write a fine for begging (up to 10 LVL). Timane notes that fining beggars is not the first priority of the Police force – providing information is.

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  1. Satyendra says:

    This is the kind of stupidity that will bring about the destruction of the Baltic states. In India beggary is honoured. We focus on more important things like tribal loyalty and spirituality and maintaining constancy in the face of change.

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