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5.30 Begging


An adult begging for money may have a child with them who may or may not be their own, and whose role is invoke public sympathy. A child may also beg alone or appear to be so doing. It is not the activity itself, rather the consequent risks that determine if a Section 17 assessment or Section 47 Enquiry is required.

Considerations should include:

  • The age of the child;
  • The degree of adult supervision;
  • Time of day etc;
  • Presents immediate risks to the child's safety; or
  • Persists and presents as a continuing risk of Significant Harm.

It is the responsibility of the Liverpool Area Command Police to:

  • Deal with the offence of begging;
  • Establish the identity and address of any involved child;
  • Refer the child to the Children's Social Care for the area in which s/he lives.

If there are immediate risks to the child, the referral must be made to the Children's Social Care where they are found. A multi-agency Strategy Discussion and Section 47 Enquiry must occur if information available indicates that the begging is placing the child at risk of Significant Harm. If this threshold is not met, a Child in Need Assessment should be undertaken and advice offered to the parent/carer about the inappropriate use of children for begging and the risks involved.

Activities such as 'penny for the guy' 'trick or treat' or carol singing are not normally regarded as begging if arrangements are age appropriate and effectively supervised.