"children should not have to beg"

Child begging a growing problem

Police in Norrköping, eastern Sweden, received over ten calls from the public on Thursday about children begging on the streets. A 15-year-old boy was taken into custody and handed over to social services, reports news agency TT.

"We found him with no adults in the vicinity. Now we have taken possession of him because he's been in an environment that is clearly inappropriate for children," said Thomas Agnevik , press spokesman at the Östgöta police, to TT.

He added that the boy was in a  poor physical condition.

The calls from the public reporting child begging also included accounts of  children seen knocking on the doors of apartment buildings and asking for food and money. 

On Wednesday, police received several calls that children in Norrköping were begging on the street. According to one testimony, three boys around the age of 10 apparently tried to sell sex to women at a train station in Norrköping.

She told local police that three children had approached her offering sexual services. She said the boys were between eight and 12 years old and spoke German, local newspaper Norrköpings Tidningar reported.

Child begging is still a relatively unknown phenomenon on the streets of Sweden's major cities.