New Britain to discuss aggressive panhandling at tonight's meeti - WFSB 3 Connecticut

New Britain to discuss aggressive panhandling at tonight's meeting

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New Britain is looking at measures to cut down on aggressive panhandling. (WFSB) New Britain is looking at measures to cut down on aggressive panhandling. (WFSB)
NEW BRITAIN, CT (WFSB) -

New Britain officials are proposing a crackdown on aggressive panhandling in the Hardware City

City leaders said panhandling has been a longstanding problem and now an ordinance is looking to stop the most aggressive forms of it.

Under the proposal, panhandlers holding a sign asking for money or performing for it would still be legal. However, anything more aggressive could get a person in trouble with the law.  

New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart called aggressive panhandling a "public safety concern."

The city council subcommittee meeting on the new proposal begins at 7 p.m. at New Britain City Hall.

Customers and managers at New Britain’s Capitol Lunch said aggressive panhandling crosses the line. Aggressive panhandling includes cursing, blocking people or touching them. Customers told Eyewitness News they have witnessed or experienced all those actions by aggressive panhandlers in New Britain.

"If you need change, do it in a polite way,” Capitol Lunch Manager Art Ververis said. “You're more likely to get money, if you say it politely."

Continual begging and other aggressive tactics would be shunned under the new ordinance.

"You don't mind reaching for a buck here or there, but don't be grabbing on my arm and say you've got to give me some money,” Ververis said.

Homeless advocates however said this will only hurt the less fortunate.

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