Sheriff’s Department Initiates Arrests Of Panhandlers In Victorville

(May 3) VICTORVILLE—The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has begun arresting panhandlers in this city of 115,903.
On April 27, deputies with the Victorville station took to the commercial districts and most heavily travelled streets of Victorville  to arrest those who both passively and more aggressively begged passersby and motorists for money.
In some of the cases, those holding signs at street corners or  entrances to or exits from the freeway or shopping centers were arrested and cited. Others who approached cars while on foot or sent their children to cars to receive money were taken into custody.
The action comes after numerous complaints by citizens relating to panhandling have been registered with authorities. Officials say they have concern with regard to public safety and the traffic hazards of pedestrians moving into the roadway.
Under California  Penal Code § 647c, which pertains to “disorderly conduct” anyone “Who accosts other persons in any public place or in any place open to the public for the purpose of begging or soliciting alms” is “guilty of a misdemeanor.”
Penal Code § 647c is rarely enforced.
Fifteen such arrests were made on Saturday in Victorville.

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