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Vagrancy Act (3212/20)


1) The number of a) arrests and b) charges made by the force under the Vagrancy Act 1824 in each of the last five calendar years (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and so far in 2020), broken down by offence.

I am not seeking information on the prostitution and indecency clauses of Section 3; accordingly, please break down charges and arrests for the following Section 3 offences if possible:

  • Wandering abroad to beg or gather alms
  • Placing self in public place to beg
  • Procuring child to beg
  • Person other than prostitute being idle and disorderly
  • Causing child to beg
  • Collecting alms or endeavouring to procure charitable contribution by false pretence
  • Wandering abroad and exposing wound or deformity to obtain alms
  • Persistently beg
  • Sleeping out

2) The number of individuals arrested under the Vagrancy Act 1824 in each of the last five calendar years (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and so far in 2020) who:

  1. Were listed as having no fixed abode / no fixed address
  2. Were subsequently charged with an offence
  3. Were issued a fine

3) Please provide the amount of each fine given for offences under the Vagrancy Act 1824 in the last five calendar years (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and so far in 2020).


Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide all of this information within the appropriate (cost) limit within the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act (see ‘Reason for Decision’ below).

Although excess cost removes the force’s obligations under the Freedom of Information Act, as a gesture of goodwill I have supplied information, relative to your request, retrieved before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded (see attached file 3212_20_attachment.pdf). I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for the remainder of the request.

Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes. The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.

The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.

If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.