DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Daytona Beach police said they arrested 15 people under the city's new panhandling ordinance.
WFTV reporter Mike Springer spoke with residents who said the street corners are free from beggars for the first time in two years.
The city put a new law in effect restricting where panhandling can be done, and it just went into effect Thursday.
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The intersection of U.S. 1 and International Speedway Boulevard was clear Friday. There are usually at least two or three people panhandling there.
While people are happy the corners are clear, they do not know how long it will last.
Daytona Beach resident Betsy Wall said she swings her sign at the corner of Nova Road and Mason Avenue to try and get people to go to City Thrift Clothing Store.
Wall is usually out there with four or five other people, who are panhandling.
“I can do my job and people look at my sign and not theirs,” Wall said.
Daytona Beach implemented its new panhandling law, which bans the activity 150 feet from an intersection, and posted signs to warn people.
Police released the mug shots of the first 15 people arrested under the new law.
But they did not stay locked up for long.
Each was offered time served and a fine of $100 for a no-contest plea and sent back out on the street.
Some Daytona Beach residents said they want to see police keep the pressure on the panhandlers.
“Usually, there is somebody here and now there's nobody,” said Aaron Lamppa. “It's definitely going to make a difference.”
Panhandling has had a big effect on businesses here, too. The owner of a local Krispy Kreme said it spends $100,000 a year on security because of it.
There’s also the cost panhandling has had on businesses. Krispy Kreme says it paid $100k a year on security guards to keep panhandlers away— Mike Springer WFTV (@mspringerwftv) February 8, 2019
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