The Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) has welcomed the decision by the State Government to make changes to the Police Offences Act 1935 that will remove the offence of begging.
“This outdated offence made extreme poverty a crime,” said Mr Fabiano Cangelosi, barrister and state president, ALA. “Criminalising begging is a completely inappropriate response to a social problem.
“It is hardly likely that people who are begging are going to be a position to pay a fine and fines just compound their existing economic and social stress. We congratulate the government on the decision to make this amendment.
“We are also pleased to see change made as a result of advocacy from people who care about this issue. Henry Pill, then state president of the ALA, initiated the movement for change on this issue by way of calling for the repeal of the offence in 2016.”
Back in 2016 speaking to the ABC, Mr Pill said that criminalising begging was an inappropriate use of the justice system.