HONOLULU – As Honolulu tries to brush up its image for tourists by cracking down on Waikiki homelessness, it is causing big legal problems for some visitors.
Hawaii News Now reports (http://bit.ly/1eGRoKr ) that the City Prosecutors Office says one in five of the citations issued for nighttime beach visits have gone to tourists.
The city began closing popular Waikiki beachfront parks at midnight to stop homeless people from settling. Violators receive a criminal citation, which could become a warrant if they do not show up in court.
Those who pay the fine will have a criminal mark on their record and that could cause non-citizens to be refused entry to the U.S. if they return.
A spokesman for the mayor’s office says police cannot simply target homeless people and must enforce laws equally against everyone.