A Danish court on Tuesday sentenced a Romanian national to 14 days in prison under new, tougher legislation aimed at dissuading aggressive begging.
“The man, who was not named, was sentenced in absentia by the Copenhagen District Court,” Danish news agency Ritzau reported.
It was believed to be the first conviction since tougher legislation approved by lawmakers in June took effect.
The measures include doubling the punishment for first-time offenders to 14 days in prison.
Offenders could also be sentenced to prison without a prior police caution, which has previously been the practice.
The bill aims to prevent begging on pedestrian thoroughfares, outside supermarkets, at transport stations, and on trains and other forms of public transport.
“Police notified the man on July 11 when he was found begging outside the Norrebro Station in the Danish capital, Copenhagen, prosecutor Marlene Beynon said.
Although the man who was born 1969 did not appear at the hearing, witnesses verified he had been at the scene.
Police have been instructed to notify him of the conviction and find out whether he intends to appeal or not.
A court official said he had 14 days to appeal.
In recent months, there have been increased complaints about aggressive begging and illegal camps that lack water and sanitation in Copenhagen.
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