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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 July 2006, 09:13 GMT 10:13 UK
Aberdeen beg-ban law reconsidered
Aberdeen has about 25 beggars in the city centre
Aberdeen could yet become the first city in Scotland to completely ban begging from its streets.

The Scottish Executive has agreed to take another look at a by-law against beggars, which was rejected at the beginning of this year.

Ministers had said it was unnecessary, claiming police already had sufficient powers to deal with the problem.

However, Deputy Justice Minister Hugh Henry has now said officials will reflect on the issue.

Speaking in Aberdeen, he told BBC Scotland: "I need to find out exactly what the issues are.

We think a by-law is the only way we can remove these people from the centre of town
Neil Fletcher
Aberdeen City Council

"My officials will speak to officials at Aberdeen City Council and reflect on what they have to say.

"There may be good reasons for not agreeing to it.

"If there are no reasons to prevent it we will reflect on that. We will investigate further."

Aberdeen City Councillor Neil Fletcher, an early supporter of the plans, said: "Obviously we want to do something about the begging problem on Union Street.

"It's very difficult when it's professional beggars that we are dealing with.

"We think a by-law is the only way we can remove these people from the centre of town.

"If we can reopen dialogue I am delighted."

Aberdeen city centre has an estimated average level of about 25 beggars.

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