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New Norway gov opens way for begging ban

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New Norway gov opens way for begging ban
Roma in Sofienberg - Anette Karlsen Scanpix
08:09 CEST+02:00
Norway's new government plans to to push local municipalities to ban begging, in a move aimed at cutting the number of Roma immigrants in the country's city centres.
The joint political platform released by the Conservative and the Progress Parties on Monday announces that the government will  "allow municipalities to impose a ban on begging in their local police regulations, in order to combat human trafficking and other organized crime". 
 
Progress Party leader Siv Jensen told The Local before the election that a ban was the best way to reduce the number of Roma on Norway's streets. 
 
"The Conservative Party and the Progress Party have a proposal to ban begging in the streets, because that would be quite efficient we think," she said.
 
"The problem is that this has not only to do with begging, the police report that behind the scenes there's a lot of petty crime. We see this throughout the country and its growing, and its growing rapidly."
 
Norway's VG newspaper on Wednesday questioned why the two parties had not decided to introduce a statutory ban on begging on a national level, as promised during the campaign.
 
The move follows a ban in begging in Denmark, and continuing attempts to ban begging in Finland. Begging has been theoretically illegal in the UK since 1824. 
 
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