Begging will be banned in certain parts of Eindhoven starting in January.
Although the ban will cover streets, squares, parks, and public gardens, the city council has not specified which ones as yet.
Beggars can be aggressive and intimidating to passers-by, the council says, adding that begging “puts public order at risk”.
Only specific areas of the city will be subject to the ban, which specifically forbids begging that “causes a nuisance”.
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Angry and disappointed to read about the municipality’s short-sighted response to this issue. Banning begging doesn’t tackle the cause of the problem at hand, and can only superficially push this problem out of sight. Applying this ban in certain areas doesn’t eradicate the problem, it just displaces it elsewhere. These policies prioritise the discomfort of people who witness poverty or homelessness, over those who are experiencing it.
Without government support, any sudden increase in pressure, like losing a job, becoming ill, or leaving home to get out of a dangerous relationship, can quickly push people into a desperate situation. Begging, and rough sleeping, puts people who are already vulnerable into an even more vulnerable position.
Given that the municipality openly state they “have no insight into possible consequences of this ban”, I would implore the council to commission some research, support and start more charitable initiatives like Springplank040, and work with the vulnerable people they’re dismissing as a nuisance.