Daytona Beach cracks down on panhandling

A new panhandling ban went into effect in Daytona Beach on Thursday.

Police Chief Craig Capri says panhandlers must be 20-to-150-feet away from driveways and intersections, in order to make it safer for the public.

Betsey Wall says it's a relief to work outside without having panhandlers around.

"It's a nuisance because they usually stand in front of me. Seems like every other car gives them something."

Chief Capri says he spent the last 10 days warning people and today he started enforcing the ordinance.  

"We went out this morning and made about 6 arrests so far, but the intersections look great," Chief Craig Capri says, adding that this is a panhandling problem and not a homeless issue. "Yes, there are some who do it but the majority are those who pull up in cars and get out and they're taking advantage of people's kindness."

He says stabbings and fights have also been part of the panhandling.

"I'm not gonna have it here in this city. When people are genuinely scared, businesses are suffering and it's a safety issue for everyone involved, no, our job is to protect people -- not to put them at risk. If they come within two feet of you and ask you for money that's aggressive panhandling.".

It makes a huge difference to residents like Betsey.

"I'm very glad. I hope it stays like this and I hope they stay away because it makes my job harder when they're in front of me begging and it's very sickening too."

If a person is caught panhandling, they could have a $200 fine and go to jail.