London, Aug 11: Police in Leicestershire have revealed that street beggars in Britain are making 200 pounds a night, the equivalent of a 73,000 pounds-a-year salary tax-free.
Officers discovered that a number of 'professional' beggars used the money to supplement income from their normal day jobs, and, last month, they arrested 20 beggars from the streets of Leicester, who were not homeless.
A woman even admitted that she begged at night after her office job so that she could pay for a new kitchen in her flat.
"On a good Friday or Saturday night some can make up to 200 pounds," the Telegraph quoted Sergeant Adrian Underwood, of Leicestershire police, as saying.
"We have intelligence that there is a woman who is begging because she wants a new kitchen for her flat.
"A lot of well-intentioned people see someone begging and think they are deserving causes.
"Would they give them money if they knew that person had just come out of a flat, was receiving benefits and had food in the larder?" he said.
Toni Soni, head of hostel services at Leicester City Council, said that previous operations by the authority and police had found no beggars to be homeless.
"There are people who are actually professional beggars who are doing it to make a living," Soni added.