Thursday, January 31 14:12:10
The Dublin City Business Improvement District (BID) and the addiction charity Tiglin have come together to launch a scheme aimed at reducing the problem of begging on Dulin's streets.
BID's 'Change for the Better' campaign seeks to raise public awareness around issues relating to active street begging in the capital.
It said that problematic street begging creates a perception that Dublin City Centre is unsafe, when this is simply not the case. Research conducted by Dublin City Council last year shows that feeling unsafe is one of the most significant factors to impact negatively on people's experience of the city centre. BID said it understands and supports members of the public who want to make a difference to the lives of people in need, however there are concerns that money given directly to people begging will not make that difference.
The Diverted Giving Campaign aims urge the public to give to Tiglin rather than individual beggars.
The campaigns aims to encourage members of the public to place the money they would normally give to people begging on the streets in one of forty 'Giving Boxes' which have been placed in locations around the city centre from today.
Proceeds collected from the Giving Boxes will go directly to the registered charity Tiglin, which supports people with addiction issues. Dublin City BID and a number of the businesses supporting the campaign have offered to match the donations made by the public through the Giving Boxes.
The pilot phase of the campaign will also see a poster campaign featuring the slogans 'Change For the Better' and 'Know Where Your Money Is Going'. BID plans to increase the number of Giving Boxes in locations as the campaign progresses. There is also an option for people to make a donation by texting 'Change' to 57030.
Commenting on the launch, CEO of Dublin City BID Richard Guiney said: "Active begging is a serious problem in the city centre. There has been a stark increase in the number of active begging incidents recorded in the BID area over the past year. This trend, coupled with the serious concerns expressed by our members has prompted us to launch this campaign. Previous research has shown that one of the main reasons for begging is to fund drug and alcohol addiction. I understand the emotive response of members of the public to want to help people less fortunate than themselves. However the BID team has observed cases of professional begging in the city and other situations where money given by the public has been used to buy drugs. Giving change to someone begging on the street does nothing to alleviate genuine social problems."