'threatened' | 

Former Garda says retailers are facing intimidation from street beggars

It comes as he said Dublin City is rife with anti-social behaviour

Stock Image | Deposit Photos

Clodagh MeaneySunday World

A former Garda has said that retailers are facing intimidation from street beggars.

Tony Gallagher, who was previously a Detective Inspector with An Garda Siochana has said that he has been physically threatened on three occasions within the last number of months.

The former cop is now working as a security and risk consultant for businesses across the capital.

Discussing threats faced by businesses in Dublin with Newstalk, Gallagher said “there is an undertone to the begging.”

He warned that if you decide to give money to someone who is begging, you should "assess the person you are giving the money to.”

“Are there obvious signs of poverty? Are there worn-out clothes shoes etc?"

"Because when they do give money to these people, they are contributing to their addiction problems, be it drink and drugs.”

“There are some of them who are earning up to €200 a day yield out of this,” he added.

“They are because what’s happening is they’re coming into the retail shops and the restaurants and they are looking to convert their coins into cash and that is the amounts you are talking about in some instances.

“Not all instances of course.

“The person who is begging will present a very nice friendly image to the person they want to get the yield off but if that doesn’t happen or the staff member is trying to transact their business and trying politely to move them on, they are threatened.”

He also said that authorities are showing a “passive indifference to begging and everything that that brings” and called on the Government to offer businesses more support.

He said that the city is rife with anti-social behaviour.

“What we have is a combination of factors here that is escalating this problem,” he said.

“You have gangs of teenagers who will descend on a store and take as much stock as they can. You can take all that together then with any of the other anti-social issues.”

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