Australian police have reported an increase in the number of Swedes begging on the streets in an apparent bid to fund their backpacking ventures.
Swedes have gained a reputation for being intrepid travellers over the years, but it appears some are heading to foreign lands without the funds to live on, with police in Melbourne, the Salvation Army and the city council all having reported the matter.
Australia has long since been among the most popular destinations for Swedes because it offers them the chance to escape freezing temperatures back home as well as to improve their English.
However, according to reports from Down Under, one in three beggars on the streets is an international tourist, with Swedes and Germans, most of whom are males below the age of 30, making up the highest proportion.
Salvation Army Major Brendan Nottle noted that many backpackers were living on tight budgets so considered begging as an acceptable way of making some extra money.
However, begging is illegal in Melbourne and throughout the state of Victoria, and the Salvation Army has asked residents to refrain from handing their money over. Nottle said that many backpackers might be unaware of this law so it was important they were informed of it as currently they were risking arrest.
The reported increase of Swedish beggars in Australia comes at a time when the number of migrant beggars in the Scandinavian country is rocketing. In the past two years alone, thousands of foreigners have arrived and taken to the streets in search of money, with 90 per cent of them said to be from Romania.