As the weather brings more public activity outdoors, the Regina Police Service would like to advise the public on the law regarding the presence of panhandlers in the city. Panhandling, which is the practice of asking strangers for money, food or other goods in a public place (such as on a sidewalk) may be considered a nuisance by some, but is not a crime.
There is no specific law or bylaw that prohibits panhandling, in general, in Regina. However, members of the public should be able to enjoy the city undisturbed. Everyone has the right to enjoy a public space. Everyone also has the right to ask another for help. However, aggressive panhandling, which would include attempts to impede another’s ability to get to their destination, could be considered harassment.
It should be noted that Regina does have a by-law that prohibits soliciting to vehicle occupants in high traffic areas:
Regina Traffic by-law 9900 section 20.1, subsection 2
(2) No person shall, while on a median, traffic island or traffic control device, solicit a person who is in or on a moving, stopped, standing or parked vehicle.
Use common sense. If you observe a panhandler being overly aggressive, creating a disturbance, or acting unlawfully, call the police. The caller will be asked questions to determine the call’s priority against other current matters for dispatching members.