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Old 13.02.2021, 18:40
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Homeless/Begging

Is it illegal in Zurich?

There's been a young homeless bloke camped outside the Aldi in Altstetten for the past few weeks, he doesn't look like he's faking it, he has his sleeping bag and a few other carrier bags with him, he never actually asks for money, just smiles and nods at people going in and out of the store.

I felt sorry for him this morning as it's -7 out there, so I bought a sandwich and a coffee with my shopping and gave them to him on my way out and told him to keep warm, I got a withering look from a passing older Swiss couple for this.

I do know there are homeless begging gangs who do this purely for money when they do actually have apartments and so on. Maybe they assumed he's one of those.
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Old 13.02.2021, 20:29
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Re: Homeless/Begging

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Is it illegal in Zurich?

There's been a young homeless bloke camped outside the Aldi in Altstetten for the past few weeks, he doesn't look like he's faking it, he has his sleeping bag and a few other carrier bags with him, he never actually asks for money, just smiles and nods at people going in and out of the store.

I felt sorry for him this morning as it's -7 out there, so I bought a sandwich and a coffee with my shopping and gave them to him on my way out and told him to keep warm, I got a withering look from a passing older Swiss couple for this.

I do know there are homeless begging gangs who do this purely for money when they do actually have apartments and so on. Maybe they assumed he's one of those.
Yes, begging is, sadly, illegal in 15 cantons, Zurich included.
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Old 13.02.2021, 20:30
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Re: Homeless/Begging

Strange he hast been reported to the police then.

Maybe he is an artist and this is his new work?

Is this Aldi on Hohlstrasse or on Badenerstrasse?
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Old 13.02.2021, 20:32
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Re: Homeless/Begging

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Yes, begging is, sadly, illegal in 15 cantons, Zurich included.
Why sadly?

Tom
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Old 13.02.2021, 20:34
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Strange he hast been reported to the police then.

Maybe he is an artist and this is his new work?

Is this Aldi on Hohlstrasse or on Badenerstrasse?
Hohlstrasse.

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Strange he hast been reported to the police then.

Maybe he is an artist and this is his new work?

Is this Aldi on Hohlstrasse or on Badenerstrasse?
Funny you should say that, there was a little religious painting near where he sits when I walked past a week or two ago.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 13.02.2021 at 22:11. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 13.02.2021, 20:39
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Re: Homeless/Begging

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Strange he hast been reported to the police then.

Maybe he is an artist and this is his new work?

Is this Aldi on Hohlstrasse or on Badenerstrasse?
Well according to OP all he does is smile&nod, so technically not begging...
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Old 13.02.2021, 20:57
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Re: Homeless/Begging

Many years ago when I worked in London I used to pass one guy like that in the entrance to Moorgate tube. Begging gangs, often with kids in tow, were big business at that time, but this guy was obviously genuine. Used to stop for a chat when I could, and a bit of cash as often as not. Pour chap started to develop a terrible oral abscess over the course of a couple of weeks, so I tried my best to persuade him to get himself to a hospital - he didn't realise how serious it could get.

One day he wasn't there and didn't reappear so is like to hope he took my advice.

Anyway, I always felt that treating people in that situation like human beings can do a lot more good than money or even food. Stop and talk, give them something they need if you want to, but above all remind them that they're part of the human race as well.
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Old 13.02.2021, 21:10
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Re: Homeless/Begging

I read a related article recently-

https://www.20min.ch/story/mit-der-k...n-779800403362

With the cold patrol for the homeless.
Despite sub-zero temperatures and a snowstorm, marginalized people in Zurich sleep outdoors. 20 minutes was on patrol with the Zurich social ambulance Sip.
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Old 13.02.2021, 21:16
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Re: Homeless/Begging

I don't know about Zurich but Geneva has beds for overnight stay, the national TV docummented it quite well recently due to the mix of CV and severe weather.
https://www.geneve.ch/fr/themes/soci...ements-urgence
https://paidos.org/contact/
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Old 13.02.2021, 21:26
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Re: Homeless/Begging

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Why sadly?

Tom
Because, in my opinion, it's hard enough living on the street, without the added fear of being sent to prison (which is what can happen if you can't pay the fine for begging). It's a quite recent law and much contested.
Personally homeless people in general make me sad.(you did ask!)
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Old 13.02.2021, 21:38
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Re: Homeless/Begging

Basel has had a big problem with beggars since last summer. It appears to have started off with 10 people who were an extended family and it escalated from there. They were sleeping outside an old former church. It then started escalating and we seem to have them all over.

They were recently offered the use of an overnight shelter, the Basel regulars were moved to hotels. The beggars have been making use of it, but it's now in the press that because news travels within the community more are arriving. Some decided they want to leave so they are given a train ticket to where they want to return to plus 20f for food.
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Old 13.02.2021, 22:30
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Re: Homeless/Begging

Sounds like the guy who used to be outside of my local Denner in Basel who's now been usurped by the dare I say more organised begging troupe taking over Basel at the moment.


Even if there's a law against it it's also been deemed not illegal when it's seen to be the only option. As someone else mentioned begging is hassling people for money whereas receiving donations for sitting on the street in the cold is not.
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Old 13.02.2021, 22:53
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Re: Homeless/Begging

The gangs want money. There's a lady I see begging outside a Denner just off Wettsteinplatz, Basel. I've seen her chatting with the gang master. Her packed lunch often is quite visible.

Nice sign about kids etc. In English.

I doubt offering a cup of coffee and a sandwich to her would be welcomed.

Until you've established a rapport, never give money to homeless people. But the genuine ones appreciate time, and being offered food or a hot drink.

Last edited by NotAllThere; 15.02.2021 at 10:04.
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Old 13.02.2021, 23:02
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Re: Homeless/Begging

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Sounds like the guy who used to be outside of my local Denner in Basel who's now been usurped by the dare I say more organised begging troupe taking over Basel at the moment.


Even if there's a law against it it's also been deemed not illegal when it's seen to be the only option. As someone else mentioned begging is hassling people for money whereas receiving donations for sitting on the street in the cold is not.
Same one as what I've reported?

The Greens changed the laws last year concerning begging. Those laws will soon be repealed, since begging gangs moved in. Homeless is one thing. This isn't it.

And you may have seen the guy with the wobbly walks around Claraplatz. He is disabled. He is in social. And he goes begging you supplement his income... And may possibily be exaggerating his disability.
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Old 14.02.2021, 00:26
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Re: Homeless/Begging

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Basel has had a big problem with beggars since last summer. It appears to have started off with 10 people who were an extended family and it escalated from there. They were sleeping outside an old former church. It then started escalating and we seem to have them all over.
After learning of it's popularity, I took a stroll on the Beggars of Basel tour. A narrow range of Eastern European folk sporting a wide range of blankets.
Real or fake? Or are they like the statue people you essentially pay for staying in the same spot?
Countenances that would touch the stoutest heart. I always feel torn between the Mail and the Guardian.
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Old 14.02.2021, 12:01
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Re: Homeless/Begging

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Because, in my opinion, it's hard enough living on the street, without the added fear of being sent to prison (which is what can happen if you can't pay the fine for begging). It's a quite recent law and much contested.
Personally homeless people in general make me sad.(you did ask!)
By the way, how is the quality of swiss prisons? Are they like the Nordic ones which more resemble a hotel than a prison?

In that case perhaps this law is for the good, as it is better to stay in a hospituous prison than in a rough and cold street?
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Old 14.02.2021, 12:27
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Re: Homeless/Begging

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By the way, how is the quality of swiss prisons?

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Old 14.02.2021, 14:44
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Re: Homeless/Begging

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After learning of it's popularity, I took a stroll on the Beggars of Basel tour. A narrow range of Eastern European folk sporting a wide range of blankets.
Real or fake? Or are they like the statue people you essentially pay for staying in the same spot?
Countenances that would touch the stoutest heart. I always feel torn between the Mail and the Guardian.
Basel removed the ban on non-organised begging, and was inundated by professional gangs as a result. Now the ban gets re-introduced, because it turned out that proving organised begging was virtually impossible.

Reality is its own proof, this back-and-forth wouldn't happen if the problem was imaginary.

The legal situation in Zürich is similar already. Begging is banned, but it's not actively prosecuted unless beggars get reported, which is unlikely to happen unless they make a nuisance of themselves, or worse.
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Old 14.02.2021, 14:51
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Re: Homeless/Begging

On the whole the law seems sensible to me - the detail is in the implementation.

By making it illegal, it allows the police to manage the situation which they could not do otherwise.

Their approach should then be to provide genuine homeless people with information about where they can get help and so on; from what I've read, this seems to be the case in practice.
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Old 14.02.2021, 14:56
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Re: Homeless/Begging

Two more to watch-



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