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New London — Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio on Thursday announced a campaign to combat panhandling and loitering by adding signs and handing out tickets.
Finizio, in a written statement, said the increased enforcement is a response to complaints.
“Members of our City Center District have expressed concerns that aggressive panhandlers are hurting business and lowering the quality of life for downtown residents,” Finizio said in the statement. “Visitors and residents need to know that our downtown is safe and welcoming.”
Signs prohibiting panhandling and loitering have gone up in 15 different locations including Bank Street, State Street, Parade Plaza, 1 Ocean Ave., Broad Street and Montauk Avenue. New London Police have begun issuing $250 tickets to people who violate the city’s anti-panhandling ordinance, he said.
“Word gets out quickly,” said Deputy Police Chief Peter Reichard in the statement. “We’re already seeing a decrease in downtown panhandling. This is proving to be an inexpensive but effective response to a long-standing problem.”