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“Aggressive” Panhandling Now Illegal in Worcester

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WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — So-called “aggressive” panhandling is now illegal in Worcester.

The city council took a final vote Tuesday to outlaw certain types of panhandling, ending nearly nine years of effort by the council to put curbs on the practice.

The Telegram & Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/WFei7H) that the new restrictions include prohibitions against soliciting money from motorists while standing in the street, on a traffic island or while walking in and out of traffic.

Some councilors opposed the law, saying its enforcement would add new duties to an already stretched police force. Other opponents said the law violated free speech rights. But advocates said the law was about public safety and the measure passed the council overwhelmingly.

The council also outlawed “tag days,” at which charitable groups solicit donations from motorists at intersections.

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WGGB encourages readers to share their thoughts and engage in healthy dialogue about the issues. Comments containing personal attacks, profanity, offensive language or advertising will be removed. Please use the report comment function for any posts you feel should be reviewed. Thank you.
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