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Anti-Panhandling Signs Go Up In Manchester

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The city of Manchester has begun putting up signs designed to discourage people from giving money to panhandlers.

One sign put up within the past week near Amoskeag Bridge reads: “Your generosity could lead to a fatality.”

The sign encourages people to instead give their money to one of several local charities.

"It's just in furtherance of our educational campaign to hopefully save some of these folks from themselves," said Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard. "They went up last week, I think at 15 or 16 locations." 

The sentiments on the signs echo those Willard raised in an open letter to the community, in which he urged residents not to give money to panhandlers.

In the letter, Willard said there’s no way to know if panhandlers will use the money to buy drugs or alcohol.

Willard says the signs put up last week were located at sites where panhandlers are known to frequent. He says the city is working with the New Hampshire Department of Transportation to get approval to put the signs at the end of highways off ramps. 

"That's where it is really the most dangerous, where vehicles are stopping at green lights to give money," he said.

Aldermen voted in favor of putting up the signs last month. 

Michael serves as NHPR's Program Director. Michael came to NHPR in 2012, working as the station's newscast producer/reporter. In 2015, he took on the role of Morning Edition producer. Michael worked for eight years at The Telegraph of Nashua, covering education and working as the metro editor.

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