Norway to Jail Citizens who give money or Food to homelessNorway has proposed a law which would make it illegal to help the homeless in the street.  The draft for the anti-begging law would not only make it a crime to to ask for money, but also to help those who beg. The rules will state that those offering money, food or shelter to beggars will also face up to a year in prison.  Individual council’s have been able to ban begging since last year, but now the centre-right government wants a nationwide ban. The proposed law would criminalise organised begging, making it punishable with a prison sentence of up to one year.  Justice minister Vidar Brein-Karlsen, said the law was needed to outlaw those running begging networks as an organised business. He said: ‘We need to give the police the legal authority to crack down on people who arrange for beggars to get here, often in large groups.’  But socialist MP Karin Andersen accused the government of ‘criminalising poverty’. She wrote on Twitter: ‘Europe’s richest country criminalises Europe’s poorest people. The freedom of speech to ask for help is cut off.’ Inger Husby, from Bøler outside Oslo, who frequently volunteers to help homeless people in the capital, said she now feared her altruistic acts to land her in prison. She said: ‘I give the homeless food and drink when they need it. ‘I think I would become even more eager to help them if the law came into force. To me, it doesn’t sound possible to punish people who are helping others who are in trouble and who are poor.’ The bill has been sent out for consultation with a deadline of February 15th. More