herald

Saturday 25 October 2014

Donate to charity not beggars on street, say stores

STOP giving money to street beggers - that's the message from Dublin city centre firms.

PEOPLE are being urged to donate their money to charity instead of giving to beggars to make Dublin feel a safer place.

Dublin City Council research has shown that feeling unsafe was one of the biggest factors negatively influencing people's experience of the city centre.

A new initiative to reduce the visual impact of beggars is being run by the Dublin City Business Improvement District (BID) and charity Tiglin.

Diverted

The Change for the Better campaign is a "diverted giving" scheme, where people are being asked to donate to one of 40 charity boxes in shops and businesses around the city instead of giving money to beggars.

BID and other businesses have offered to match the public donations in the boxes.

Chief executive Richard Guiney said active begging is "a serious problem" in the centre, adding: "There has been a stark increase in the number of active begging incidents recorded in the BID area over the past year.

"We have also observed cases of professional begging in the city, where money given by the public was used to buy drugs."

Funds raised will go to addictions charity Tiglin. The group's Phil Thompson said it will be an educational process for beggars and the public.

cfeehan@herald.ie

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