Niagara Falls Police Superintendent E. Byron DalPorto said "aggressive panhandling" has become a problem in the city, so the City Council unanimously passed a law against it Wednesday night.
DalPorto said the local law copies one in Rochester, which makes the practice a violation. That doesn't produce a criminal record but still carries maximum penalties of 15 days in jail, a $250 fine, or both.
"It's been a big problem, specifically in the downtown tourist area and along the Pine Avenue corridor," DalPorto said. "People feel pressured to give money."
There could be as many as 25 beggars a day in those areas, he said. The state repealed its law against loitering for the purpose of begging a few years ago.