– The Government proposes a comprehensive plan to limit begging. Begging is undesirable in Norway, but we can not ban poverty. The Government gives municipalities an incentive to limit begging, and we will lower the threshold for deportation of EEA nationals who commit crimes, said Minister of Justice and Public Security Grete Faremo.
– Begging is primarily a humanitarian problem. Some beggars are Romani, a vulnerable European minority. Their situation must be addressed through measures in their home countries, says Faremo.
Norway will in the next few years step up measures and projects for the Romani through the EEA Grants. Until 2016, Norway will spend NOK 300 million on measures in Bulgaria, Romania and other countries in Central and Southern Europe.
The Ministry will lower the threshold for deportation of EEA nationals who commit crimes.
– We can not accept that foreign citizens come to Norway to commit crimes. Will will increase the return of convicts to their native countries. There has been a significant increase in deportations in the recent years. So far this year, the Police has deported 299 EEA nationals, of which 223 are convicts, says Grete Faremo.
Regulation of begging
– We provide Norwegian municipalities the right to regulate begging. Bergen and several other cities have now established successful registration and notification schemes to limit begging. This gives the police a better overview of the beggars, and helps them fight crime among beggars. These measures are also used in other countries, says Faremo.
The Government also gives municipalities and the police the right to ban begging in certain places and at certain times.
– Some places begging is law and order problem. Therefore we propose to give municipalities greater latitude to restrict begging, says Faremo.