Downtown Business Association says panhandling down 70% in Bakersfield

Panhandling law went into effect in May

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The Downtown Business Association announced a 70% decrease of panhandling in downtown Bakersfield, this just months after the panhandling ordinance took effect. 

Local business owner Nick Avalos says panhandling really impacted his business. "Usually if they see someone outside, sometimes they just drive off because they don't want to be harassed," he said.

After the ordinance went into effect in May , Avalos has not had a problem. 

"So after that happened, our customers are actually... as they come in they say, 'that's great that they aren't out there no more," Avalos said.

Bakersfield Police Department was also surprised at the drop. They say they're getting less calls and with the ordinance, people are policing themselves.

"Yeah, it's gone down, and kind of what's happened is we haven't made a lot of arrests for it," said public information officer Joe Grubbs, with the Bakersfield Police Department. 

The DBA said they came up with the 70% figure from the number of reports they received regarding panhandling downtown. 

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