HC Deb 20 December 1999 vol 341 cc376-7W
Dr. Tonge

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has had with the Metropolitan Police and social services departments in London regarding begging activities in London by women claiming to be Kosovan refugees using children and babies. [103211]

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 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.