The Police Department yesterday (30) urged people not to give money to those begging from them in vehicles stuck at traffic lights within the Colombo city limits.

Addressing the media Senior DIG Traffic Administration and Road Safety, Indika Hapugoda, mentioned that police officers from the 45 police divisions and 607 police stations have been instructed, through a circular signed by senior officers, to remove beggars causing disturbances to vehicular traffic.

"During the mission, 94 beggars who violated the circular were arrested last week and presented before the courts. However, due to current conditions, these beggars cannot be detained for extended periods. Given the lack of facilities, they are released on bail after being fined," he said.

Even after being released on bail, these beggars often return to their usual activities.

With approximately 180 traffic lights within the Colombo municipality, beggars frequently take advantage of red lights to enter the roads and resume begging.

The beggar menace at traffic lights in Colombo city limits has increased, causing significant challenges for motorists and all road users, including children.

Due to the lack of procedures for the police department to remove, rehabilitate, and arrest beggars, a video announcement in three languages is being published to educate the public about avoiding helping beggars at traffic lights within the Colombo city limits.

This initiative aims to discourage beggars from approaching traffic lights as they will no longer receive assistance, the Senior DIG said.



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