Swedes back ‘organized begging’ ban

Swedes back 'organized begging' ban
Photo: TT
Members of the parliamentary justice committee have rejected a proposed ban on organized begging, an idea which is backed by a majority of Swedes.
Eight of the members of the parliamentary standing committee on the administration of justice (justitieutskottet) rejected the idea, according to broadcaster TV4.
The only members who advocated the law amendment were representatives of the Sweden Democrats and the Moderates – the party which recently presented a proposal to outlaw organized begging. 
Meanwhile a survey by Expressen/Demoskop showed that a majority of Swedes, some 71 percent, think a ban would be a good idea. 
The term however remains controversial and critics argue that careless use of it simply stigmatizes all EU migrants.
"Beatrice Ask (chair of the justice committee) is very vague on the term and when she was asked to provide any facts, she was unable. Meanwhile hostility is growing against the beggars and this makes it easier to dismiss them as criminals," said Aaron Israelson, editor of homeless magazine Faktum.
When asked whether begging in general should be banned, support dropped to around 40 percent in the Expressen/Demoskop survey. A total of 1,071 people responded.
In a further survey, by Novus/TV4 carried out last month, 56 percent of respondents backed a ban on begging.