A west Auckland beggar who says he makes up to $150 a day claims a “begging syndicate” aggressively targets shoppers.
Conrad is one of a number of beggars in Henderson’s Lincoln North Plaza. Some of the other beggars – shoppers complain – are aggressive and allegedly work as part of a begging “syndicate”.
Conrad, who did not want to give a surname, says he is one of at least six beggars who consider the plaza “their spot”. He claims he earns between $100 and $150 a day begging at the mall.
Why work when you can get more money begging?
He says he is not aggressive when he begs. “I just ask,” he said.
A local retailer, who requested not to be named, says the beggars use scare tactics and shout at people who do not give them money.
“Most of our customers just give them loose change because they are too scared.”
So it is stand over tactics.