Children Act, 2001


247.—(1) A person is guilty of an offence if he or she causes or procures a child or, having the custody, charge or care of a child, allows the child to be in any street or public place, or to make house to house visits, for the purpose of begging or receiving alms or of inducing the giving of alms (whether or not there is any pretence of singing, playing, performing, offering anything for sale or otherwise).

(2) If a person who has the custody, charge or care of a child is charged with an offence under this section, and it is proved that the child was in any street, public place or house for any purpose referred to in subsection (1), the person shall be presumed to have allowed the child to be in the street, public place or house for that purpose, unless the contrary is proved.

(3) A person found guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding—

(a) in the case of a first offence, £250, or

(b) in the case of a second or any subsequent offence, £500.

(4) In this section—

“house” includes any building occupied for residential or business purposes and any part of a building so occupied;

“public place” means any place to which the public have or are permitted to have access whether as of right or by permission and whether on payment or without payment;

“street” includes any road, bridge, lane, footway, subway, square, alley or passage, whether a thoroughfare or not, which is for the time being open to the public, and any ground or carpark adjoining and open to a street shall be treated as forming part of a street.