ABU DHABI // The Ministry of Interior has asked community members not to sympathise with beggars, ahead of Ramadan.

The ministry has started a nationwide campaign against begging, which is illegal. Occurrences tend to increase during the holy month, and police teams will intensify patrols nationwide.

Lt Gen Saif Al Sha’far, undersecretary at the ministry, called begging a scourge that reflects negatively on the country’s civilised image.

“Begging opens the door for some people to indulge in various forms of dupery and fraud to seek alms from people, and exploiting their tendency for charitable work during Ramadan,” he said.

He urged the community to donate money through appropriate channels.

Residents can report incidents of begging in their neighbourhoods by calling the police at 999 or the Aman service on 800 2626, or by SMS to 2828.

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Source: local