Reply
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast
Like Tree36Likes

Begging in Hong Kong

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,561

    Begging in Hong Kong

    So, there are men on the walkways between Chater House and Exchange Square begging. A couple in particular have been there for years. These men are seriously disfigured and obviously have real physical handicaps (burn victims, missing limbs and similar terrible injuries). Question is - do they have any other options in HK? One guy in particular has one missing leg and the other is severely disfigured. He is on the ground with no wheelchair - anyone know if this is the kind of thing that public healthcare in HK covers, and if so, why said individual doesn't have one? I've asked local colleagues and they all insist that these men are placed on the walkways by unsavory individuals who take the money they collect, so one should never give them anything and there is nothing anyone can do for them - but I have a hard time with that explanation...

    Does anyone know the real deal with these men and if there is any help to be had?

    dear giant likes this.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    4,140

    some say these people are forced into begging by gangsters
    if anyone has more light to shed, it would be good to know

    dear giant likes this.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    14,182

    It's true that they're usually begging on behalf of others.

    dear giant likes this.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    DB
    Posts
    3,589

    I think I know the one you mean, on the end of the walkway as in front of Exchange Square and has been in various locations around that area for over 10 years.

    He actually has a wheelchair he keeps somewhere near the other end of the walkway, down by Worldwide House, I've seen him getting himself into it at the end of the day. He lives somewhere in the New Territories, I remember my hubby saying he'd seen him in maybe Yau Tong or somewhere, on his was to work one day.

    dear giant likes this.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    5,113

    OP, your local friends are telling the truth. Many beggars in HK are operated by criminal mainland syndicates preying on the well-intentioned but naive expat or tourist. The beggars themselves are either voluntary participants or press-ganged into it. If they cannot "earn" enough, they are subjected to beatings and torture by their "superiors". And if they do earn "enough" their daily "quota" is simply raised such that they cannot be met. So the beggars are really no better off whether someone donate money to them or not.

    These same syndicates also operate pickpocket operations along busy streets like Hennessy Road in Causeway Bay or Nathan Road in Mongkok. Typically they will use young innocent looking kids (to lessen the chance of the target being aware of the impending theft) to shadow their targets, waiting for the right opportunity to strike. And of course, if those kids don't earn enough, they are given the same treatment as the beggars.

    In contrast, local triads don't really bother with such "low level" criminal activity, preferring money laundering, prositiution, gambling and smuggling operations which are more "profitable" for them.

    Last edited by Watercooler; 03-01-2012 at 02:29 PM.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Gold Coast Marina
    Posts
    17,970

    If this is the case, why don't the police simply arrest the beggars and put them in jail - a nice warm place well away from the people who beat them up?


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    5,113
    Quote Originally Posted by MovingIn07
    If this is the case, why don't the police simply arrest the beggars and put them in jail - a nice warm place well away from the people who beat them up?
    The police are well-aware of the problem, but it's hard to enforce uniformly. If a police comes and arrest a beggar, the beggar's superior will quickly contact his colleagues and those other beggars will go in hiding or move elsewhere. Nor do the police want their stations to become known as the beggar refugee camp.

    I remember reading somewhere that the police have enacted "no begging zone" but the practical effectiveness of such zones are unknown, and the police themselves often have other "more pressing" matters to attend to then to deal with beggars,
    Last edited by Watercooler; 03-01-2012 at 02:27 PM.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    14,182

    Also don't give a cent to those fake monks either


  9. #9

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    DB
    Posts
    3,589

    Yes, there has been a bit of an influx of beggars from over the border in the last few years. The guy I referred to has been around so long, I don't think he is one of those.

    Also, given that he has no legs, stumps for hands and yet can still smile and wish me a good day, is enough for me to 'donate' to his cause. Heck he even enquired after me recently, when I'd not been past him on a regular basis due to a foot injury!

    The ones I won't support are the women with babies, the ones who prostrate themselves and moan and similar cases. Does that make me hard, yes, but as noted below you support some bad practices if you donate to them.

    Agree, Jimbo, about the fake monks!


  10. #10
    Mat
    Mat is offline

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    14,603
    Quote Originally Posted by MovingIn07
    If this is the case, why don't the police simply arrest the beggars and put them in jail - a nice warm place well away from the people who beat them up?
    Cos of course Jail is a "nice warm place where people do not beat you up".
    bookblogger likes this.

Reply
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast