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Namur bans begging in shopping areas in four-month trial

14:42 14/07/2023

Namur mayor Maxime Prévot has announced that begging will be banned in and up to 20 metres away from the city's shopping centres and galleries for a four-month trial period.

The town justified its deision, explaining that one of its roles is to “give its inhabitants the benefits of good policing, especially cleanliness, health, safety and calm in public areas”.

The mayor said that this aim was now impossible to achieve in the areas around some galleries, for example those near Namur railway station.

Begging also can stop the flow of pedestrians, create disturbances and hinder commercial activities or special events.

For example, Prévot noted that an intervention was necessary in the Wérenne gallery on 3 July involving six people drinking and displaying noisy and disruptive behaviour.

The city’s officers employed to keep the peace noted that “the mall is not pleasant for passers-by”, he said.

Other incidents were reported on 4 July involving homeless people in the Harscamp shopping gallery near Namur’s Place de l’Ange.

In general, incidents involving one or more beggars in and around shopping malls have increased from 27 in January to 53 in June, the mayor noted, saying that the bill would therefore be in force until 7 November.

Written by Liz Newmark