Mev Brown said the only way to tackle the problem of people asking for money on the street was to cut off the cash at source.
He said many homeless people spotted on the streets of the Capital were not in fact homeless, and made a healthy income from pretending to be.
He added that if the issue was not addressed, it would not be long before child beggars would be occupying the streets.
“The public’s generosity is being ruthlessly exploited,” said Mr Brown, who has worked with homeless people in Edinburgh for almost a decade.
“The only effective solution I can see is on-the-spot fines for those giving money to beggars.”