§ Mr. Boateng
There have been no recent discussions between my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary and the Metropolitan Police or London social services departments about begging, begging with children or foreign nationals begging.
Begging in a public place is an offence and therefore, within the Metropolitan Police District, it is an operational matter for the Commissioner. He tells me that there is a dedicated police unit at Charing Cross which deals with 377W begging and rough sleepers; this unit works in association with other relevant agencies. The Metropolitan Police do not monitor data on the number of foreign nationals arrested for begging.