While driving around town, you might notice panhandlers on the side of the roads or on medians.

The Comox Valley RCMP have responded to several complaints recently. Constable Rob Gardner says that panhandling is illegal.

Gardner notes panhandlers, if caught, can face fines up to $115. Gardner says the safety of the panhandler and drivers is the main concern for police.

He says the Safe Streets Act is the authority that guides the RCMP’s actions to deal with this matter.

Gardner notes there are multiple resources that you can donate to in order to help individuals on the streets instead of handing money directly to panhandlers.

Some of those resources include the Salvation Army and the Comox Valley Food Bank.