THE Perak Welfare Department and Ipoh City Council have jointly held an operation to “rescue” vagrants and beggars from the streets in Ipoh.
The operation, held last Tuesday, was conducted following complaints received by the city council and Datuk Bandar Datuk Zamri Man on beggars trying to solicit money from the public.
City council public relations officer Mohd Syarizal Azmi said eight beggars and vagrants were found trying to beg for money at traffic light junctions in the city and were promptly rounded up by enforcement officers.
“The operation began at 10am. Our licensing and enforcement unit was called up to assist the welfare department.
“We sent a team to assist in logistics, transportation and other duties,” he said.
“The welfare department will be dealing with them,” he added.
It was reported that beggars were found to be asking for money from motorists at traffic light junctions, becoming a traffic hazard.
Zamri had told reporters recently that some of the beggars are believed to be part of a small syndicate and some of them were not locals.
He was also quoted as saying they were coming to Ipoh because of the influx of tourists into the city.
When contacted, a welfare department officer who declined to be named said action had been taken against the vagrants and beggars.
The officer, however, declined to elaborate on the matter.
She explained that procedure-wise, any vagrants and beggars rescued would be dealt with by the respective agencies.
“Those under our jurisdiction will either be placed at welfare homes or given skills training.
“Those who have families will be sent back to their respective homes,” she said.
“Those found to be foreigners or drug addicts would be handed over to the Immigration Department and National Anti-Drugs Agency, respectively,” she added.