Worcester starts enforcing panhandling rules
WORCESTER (AP) — Worcester is making good on its promise to crack down on what city officials call “aggressive” panhandling, with four people arrested this month.
The city in January passed an ordinance banning panhandling while standing in traffic or on medians, but didn’t enforce it during a grace period in the hopes that education and publicity would lead to voluntary compliance.
Police Chief Gary Gemme says those arrested — one man was arrested twice — were warned several times beforehand.
He tells The Telegram & Gazette at least two of those arrested appear to be drug addicts asking for money to feed addictions.
City Councilor William Eddy says police are taking the proper approach to the issue and thinks the ordinance is working because he sees fewer people panhandling on his drive to work.