Antwerp to seize "aggressive" beggars' money

In Antwerp the police will soon be able to seize money collected by aggressive beggars. The city authorities say that this is the only way to tackle the criminal organisations behind the beggars.

Antwerp Mayor Bart De Wever has also provided a definition of what the city sees as "aggressive beggars": "These are the people who stand at intersections, often with babes in arms, or people who use the handicapped to get hold of money. Everybody knows the images. There's a cartel of organised criminals behind it. It's people-trafficking. This has nothing to do with begging."

The new measure will be written into the police code. The money of aggressive beggars will be seized temporarily. If nobody comes forward to demand it - what Mr De Wever really expects - the cash will be confiscated for good. It will go to local social services or a charity.

The measure also exists in the seaside resort of Ostend where a special no-go area for beggars has been designated.