Prime Minister Erna Solberg is asking people to consider that they might support organized crime by giving money to beggars, and wants a ban on begging.
In the Focus (Brennpunkt) documentary “the Happy Land” (Lykkelandet),broadcast by NRK on Tuesday it was showed how a network of approximately 140 Romanians are making millions on organized begging, prostitution, drugs and other crimes.
– I reacted strongly to this. At the same time, this is not something new, and the problems we pointed out even before the 2013 election, Prime Minister Erna Solberg told NRK.
She states that the Conservatives still wants a ban on begging.
– If there is a consensus in Parliament, the Government has a proposal ready to be submitted shortly.
The Prime Minister however meets with criticism for her approach.
– A ban on begging would change the streets for a few days, but exploitation of people will just be done in other ways. These will be less visible and will not better our community, Senior Advisor for the Church City Mission, Børre Arnøy, states.
The Socialist Party (SV) has no plans to vote for a begging ban, but asks that the fight against the organized crime uncovered in the documentary is given higher priority by the police.
– Everything that appears in the documentary is already illegal. We do not need a ban on begging to combat it. The Government once again wants to make poverty less visible. They should fight the criminals, not the poor, says Member of Parliament for the Socialist Party, Karin Andersen.
Mayor of Os wants an end to begging
– The NRK documentary was the last drop, Mayor of Os, Marie Bruarås (Conservatives) said after watching the documentary “Lykkelandet” which is about beggars in Bergen.
The Brennpunkt documentary shows how a Romanian criminal network earns big money on organized begging, prostitution, racketeering and drug use in and around Bergen.
Bruarøy wants an end to begging
– We have some Romanian beggars in Os, which are transported here in groups. Many of them have been very aggressive, especially against children and the elderly. Therefore we will not stand it anymore, she says to Nettavisen.
She says that the sheriff in Os, Oddbjørn Dyrdal, supports a total ban on begging.
– We have long considered introducing a local prohibition, but when we now see how clearly the police state the seriousness of the problem both the documentary and locally, the time has come, according to the Conservative mayor.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today