WHAT YOU CAN DO:
CALL CALL CALL 911! And keep calling. Your call matters. The police depend on the public to call. And it doesn't have to be just in your neighborhood. Call whenever you see those who are sleeping on the street and/or repeated panhandling, as well as drug addicts & mentally disabled who appear in need. By calling 911, the police must come out and a record is established that can be used by the Mayor and City Council in their decision-making process. Give the 911 operator the address or coordinates (ex: northeast corner of Walnut and 12th Streets), and a brief description. Do not get flustered if you cannot give a complete description, as it is not necessary. You do not have to remain at the scene. If the issue is not resolved satisfactorily, the community police officers have said that you should then ask for the police 'supervisor'. The police will also contact Homeless Outreach when necessary.
Call your local police district captain if the problem persists - https://www.phillypolice.com/districts-units/index.html
PRESS CHARGES if you have someone who will not leave from in front of your store or home. This will require you to go to Central Detectives at 21st and Hamilton Streets (for Center City residents).
EMAIL Philadelphia Mayor Kinney: James.Kenney@phila.gov
EMAIL City Council group email: http://phlcouncil.com/council-members
EMAIL Police Commissioner: Police.Commissioner@phila.gov
EMAIL District Attorney: LarryKrasner@Phila.gov
COMMENT @ CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS: You'll get only 2 minutes, so write it out. (check out "City Council Comments"). City Council meetings are on Thursdays (except July & Aug) at City Hall, Room 400, 1400 JFK Blvd., https://phila.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx At the beginning of the City Council meetings you must sign up to speak. Sign up under any legislation that is listed on the agenda under (BILLS AND RESOLUTIONS ON SECOND READING AND FINAL PASSAGE). The desk where you sign up is on the right-hand side of City Council facing the President’s desk. The person who handles the sign-ups is usually there around 10:40 am, although the meetings officially start at 10 am.
TALK to local businesses who allow panhandlers, etc. in front of their establishments. We have had a lot of success emailing the corporate CEOs of establishments in the downtown area, when local management is unresponsive.
CHECK-OUT: Safe Streets Philly Handout for Businesses! For excessive loitering and other "prohibited conduct" business owners have a 'right and responsibility' to prohibit such conduct under Titles 9 &10 of Philadelphia Code (see below). To discourage prohibited conduct, business may do the following:
- Place "No Loitering" signs outside of your business
- Remove benches and seating areas unless part of a cafe
- Use intensive and defensive landscaping and container gardening
- Install folding security gates for entrances that are set-back/ alcoves
- Direct staff to move violators on, per Titles 9 & 10 (see below)
- Call 911, EMAIL Police Commissioner, District Attorney, the Mayor and City Council, your local police district, and us.
In Philadelphia, under Title 9, businesses have the ‘right and responsibility’ to keep the vicinity around their business free from “prohibited conduct” as defined under Title 10. Under Title 9, businesses that allow prohibited conduct on the sidewalk or street, as defined under Title 10, can be forced to remediate the situation or be closed down. Unfortunately, most businesses don't know about Title 9, and believe that they have no rights or responsibilities to forbid prohibited conduct on their sidewalk or street.
TITLE 9-4400. RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS OPERATIONS: http://library.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Pennsylvania/philadelphia_pa/title9regulationofbusinessestradesandpro/chapter9-4400responsiblebusinessoperatio?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:philadelphia_pa$anc=JD_Chapter9-4400
TITLE 10. REGULATION OF INDIVIDUAL CONDUCT AND ACTIVITY http://library.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Pennsylvania/philadelphia_pa/title10regulationofindividualconductanda/chapter10-600publicplaces-prohibitedcond?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:philadelphia_pa$anc=JD_Chapter10-600
"Prohibited Conduct" under Title 10 (not the complete list):
- Disorderly conduct
- Interfering with traffic
- Unreasonable loitering
- Unauthorized dwellings
- Blocking street or sidewalk
- Sitting on sidewalk over one hour
- Lying down on sidewalk & benches
- Repeated or aggressive panhandling
- Leaving objects on sidewalks for over 15 minutes
- Non-passenger use of bus stops & transit terminals