Somersworth Ordinance Aims to Curtail Pandhandling

Aug 18, 2015

The city of Somersworth is trying to restrict panhandling.

Foster's Daily Democrat reports the Somersworth City Council passed an ordinance Monday stating that people are no longer allowed to give or receive items from vehicle occupants on roadways.

Both the panhandler and drivers could be fined up to $500.

Councilor David Witham said residents have expressed fear and frustration about aggressive panhandlers on the roadways. He insisted it is a safety issue.

Ordinance co-sponsor Councilor Dale Sprague said police can use the measure as a tool to combat aggressive panhandling.

One resident spoke out against the ordinance expressing concerns for their First Amendment rights. He added that the American Civil Liberties Union sent him a letter indicating they do not support the ordinance.