Aggressive panhandlers pose problems for Hamilton, Oakville, Burlington motorists

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Published June 6, 2023 at 10:16 am

People looking for money or selling goods on the off and on ramps of the QEW and Hwy 403 have become increasingly aggressive, reports the Ontario Provincial Police.

The Burlington Detachment of the OPP says numerous complaints have been received from drivers being confronted as they try to get on and off the highways.

“These people are getting increasingly aggressive,” an OPP officer said. “This creates so many problems, including traffic tie-ups, but it’s also dangerous having people wandering through traffic. It’s especially concerning for those coming off the highway at a high rate of speed who may have difficulty stopping.”

Police say while those panhandling have been a regular occurrence over the years, what has recently escalated is the number of people who are trying to sell goods on the ramps. One popular item is jewellery.

“Jewellery or goods that look expensive tends to attract customers,” the officer said. “Chances are the items are fake or not real, so people shouldn’t fall for it.”

The OPP says suspicious behaviour should be reported.

“While some people have real needs, others are scammers. Drivers should be wary of stopping or buying,”

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