May 20, 2014 5:56 pm

More complaints of aggressive panhandlers in Fredericton: police

Fredericton Police say they have had an increase in complaints of aggressive panhandlers.

Kevin Godwin/Global News

FREDERICTON – Fredericton Police say they’ve been getting more complaints regarding aggressive panhandlers in the city’s downtown core.

Businesses along Queen Street have noticed an increase in the amount of panhandlers along the street, but Inspector Brian Ford says, it’s no more or less than any other year.

There is a city-wide by-law stating no panhandling shall be tolerated, but Ford says enforcement isn’t always the answer.

“There is a by-law in place, but we recognize that it’s more than just panhandling, that a lot of this issue needs to be dealt with as a social issue,” he said. “Enforcement isn’t really the best way to deal with this, we prefer with non-aggressive panhandlers to refer them to social programs and assist in any way we can.”

He said police continue to do foot patrols along the downtown and will use enforcement if a panhandler is being aggressive.

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