Generous Wellingtonians are inadvertently funding criminals by giving to beggars, police say.
Inspector Terry van Dillen, of Wellington police, delivered that message to Wellington City councillors on Wednesday ahead of a debate on what to do about the city’s begging problem.
“Wellingtonians are very, very generous with their money. I’ve seen it myself on Friday and Saturday nights on Courtenay [Place] and Blair [St].
“People are throwing a lot of spare cash at the beggars,” van Dillen said.
It was unclear just how many Wellingtonians were aware that when they put money into a beggar’s bowl, someone else was often taking a cut, van Dillen said.
“What are we going to do about that?”
If only we had a large body of trained professionals granted extraordinary powers to capture and imprison criminals who steal people’s money.