Using abusive language, obstructing the path of a solicited person and continuing to solicit a person.
All are examples of what is called “aggressive panhandling” and Quesnel RCMP say it has become an issue in the area, primarily in the downtown core.
Constable Krista Vrolek says while panhandling itself is not illegal, there are limits.
She says another one would be when more than one person is asking someone for money.
Vrolek says there are also restrictions under the Safe Street Act on where panhandling can take place.
Some of those examples include within 5 meters of an automated teller, soliciting someone either getting in or out of a vehicle or on or off of a bus and soliciting the occupants of a stopped or parked vehicle on the road.
We asked her if there was a better way to help than to give a person some money…
“There are a number of organizations in town that support the less fortunate in our community. Sometimes a Good Samaritan who gives funds to people who are soliciting funds and in some cases the monies are used to fuel addictions…That’s a concern because it creates residual problems such as drug use, public intoxication, and violence.”
Vrolek says they encourage the public to report any instances of aggressive panhandling.