Politicians beware: Raleigh is cracking down on panhandling | Citizen | Indy Week
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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Politicians beware: Raleigh is cracking down on panhandling

Posted by on Thu, Feb 3, 2011 at 10:22 AM

political_money_4.jpg
See how many of these new panhandling rules, listed in a City of Raleigh press release, your local candidate or political organization may be violating. (e.g., no asking for money in groups of three or more; after 8 p.m.; under the influence of liquor; in a dining area — these do apply to everybody begging for money, yes?)

And also, no threats allowed that if you don't fork over some cash, they will [via a "statement, gesture, or form of communication that a reasonable person would perceive as a threat"] see to it that you'll regret it:


APPROVAL GIVEN TO AMENDED PANHANDLING ORDINANCE

The Raleigh City Council today unanimously approved an amended ordinance regulating begging and panhandling in the Capital City. The new ordinance places restrictions on when and where begging and panhandling can occur. It takes effect on March 18.

As is the case under the City of Raleigh’s current panhandling ordinance, the new ordinance requires a person to obtain a City permit to beg or panhandle on streets or other public property. The permit is valid for one year, unless another expiration date is specified on the permit. The permit is revoked if the holder is convicted of violating the City’s begging and panhandling regulations.

The new ordinance prohibits begging or panhandling from occurring earlier than 8 a.m. or later than 8 p.m. on any day. No begging or panhandling is allowed in school zones “while students are beginning or ending the school day.” Furthermore, begging or panhandling is not allowed in the following areas:

• Within 20 feet of any bus stop, train station or taxi zone;
• Within 100 feet of any automated teller machine or any other machine that dispenses money to the general public;
• Within 100 feet of the entrance to any financial institution open for business;
• Within 20 feet of any commercial establishment open for business;
• Within 20 feet of any duly permitted outdoor dining area during hours of operation; and,
• Within 20 feet of the entrance to any residence or residential building.

Also under the new ordinance, no one is allowed to beg or panhandle in the following manner:

• While under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or prescription medication unless the prescription medicine is prescribed by a licensed physician;
• By coming within 3 feet of the person being approached unless that person has clearly indicated a desire to make a donation;
• By blocking the path of any person along a sidewalk or street;
• By following the person who has been asked for a donation after that person has either declined the request or walked away;
• By using profane or abusive language during the request for a donation or after a donation has been refused;
• In a group of three or more;
• By using any statement, gesture or any other form of communication which a reasonable person would perceive as a threat;
• By using false or misleading information, such as stating the donation is for a specific need that does not exist, has already been met, or the requestor already has the funds to meet the need; and,
• By falsely indicating the requestor suffers from a physical or mental disability.

Violation of the new panhandling ordinance is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500.

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