Can I be ticketed for Panhandling?

There are two main offences under the Safe Streets Act: solicitation in an “aggressive manner” and solicitation of a “captive audience”. Soliciting means to request money or anything else of value from someone, whether or not you provide any services in return. You can request by asking, putting up a sign, making a gesture — […]

Aggressive solicitation

In general, passive panhandling is not illegal. Examples of this include holding out your hand or requesting spare change. Aggressive panhandling, however, is illegal. Soliciting in an aggressive manner includes anything that is “likely to cause a person to be concerned for his or her safety or security”. Examples of behaviours that are considered aggressive […]

Soliciting a captive audience

It is also illegal to solicit “a captive audience”, that is, people who are preoccupied. It doesn’t matter whether the soliciting is done in an aggressive manner. This ban on “soliciting a captive audience” makes it illegal to solicit a person that is: using, waiting for, or leaving an ATM; using or waiting to use a pay […]

Being arrested?

You can only be arrested under the Safe Streets Act if the police reasonably believe that you have cntravened the SSA and, (a) the police officer warned them prior to the incident not to engage in that activity or (b) the officer reasonably thinks that the arrest is necessary to establish their identity or to […]

Penalties

Tickets for SSA violations usually attract a penalty of about $65. These tickets can be taken to the Court Services Office at the address on the back of the ticket if you want to fight the ticket or have the fine reduced. For more information, see the wiki section on Tickets. If you have been […]

Confiscation of your property by police

The police can take your possessions as evidence if you are suspected of using them to commit a crime. For example, the police may take your squeegee if they believe it is stolen or has been used as a weapon. Officers should not take your property just because you have used it to squeegee for […]