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Irish News

People approached by aggressive beggars every 15 minutes'

THE Licensed Vintners Association has called for more garda resources to tackle ?aggressive begging? in Dublin city centre.

The association said the city would be more attractive to visitors if there was a higher level of visible policing.

Speaking at an Oireachtas Justice Committee meeting LVA representative Deidre Devitt called for a specific garda strategy to stamp out ?aggressive begging? outside city centre bars and restaurants.

The organisation said vagrancy legislation introduced in 2011 was not affective.

?The issue of aggressive begging has greatly intensified in Dublin in the last 12 months and is now at an unacceptable level,? Ms Devitt said.

?We are calling for a review of begging legislation in light of recent experiences and views from business sector and voluntary bodies and the public,? she added.

Restaurant Association of Ireland CEO Adrian Cummins said people were being approached by beggars every 15 minutes outside restaurants and pubs, which he said was aggressive begging.

He said beggars had targeted routes around the city centre and when they did not get money from people they became aggressive.

Independent TD Finian McGrath questioned why the organisation was focusing on a policing solution to what was a ?complex issue?.

Sinn Fein?s Padraig Mac Lochlainn said some of the begging he had seen in the capital was ?criminal behaviour?.

Mr Mac Lochlainn said women were followed up Grafton Street in an intimidating manner by beggars.