New Bedford city councilors say panhandling remains a serious issue in the city, and are still working to come up with a viable solution to combat it.

Last month, councilors looked at ways of banning panhandling from city intersections, but to no avail.

Councilors say such a ban would conflict with the state's constitution, so they are now looking at creating a permitting process.

Councilor Steve Martins says the idea is to give police some extra muscle on the streets.

"It's not something the council has to be happy about, but what we're looking to do is pass an ordinance that the police department is happy about and that they can enforce," Martins said after the meeting.

Martins is the chair of the council's Committee on Ordinances, and says the issue will be discussed with law enforcement during the next meeting in August.

Councilors agreed something must be done to rid the city of a major nuisance and safety concern.

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