Underscoring Pope Francis’s visit to New York on September 25, his motorcade through Central Park and mass celebration at The Madison Square Garden Events facility are the city’s proactive measures to clear the area of the seating pods on West 32nd Street. This public area has been used by the homeless to set up campsites and engage in sometimes criminal activities including damage to private and public property, aggressive pan handling, business obstructions and other harassment against area residents and businesses as well as blocking sidewalks, violence and drug and alcohol abuse.
The area’s homeless problem will be addressed by a redesign of the West 32nd / West 33rd problem areas. Several local sources are doubtful, however, that this will permanently resolve the problem. Rather, the sentiment is that any solution the city provides will only add to the already existing decline and squalor of the West 32nd and 33rd streets.
Homeless crime made national news on a variety of occasions the past year including the stabbing of a 16-year-old girl and the other bystanders who detained him for law enforcement at a Target retail store in Pittsburgh earlier in June 2015.
The criminal activities brought to areas which the homeless infest are not unique to New York and Pittsburgh. Other law enforcement agencies list several types of illegal activities in which the homeless routinely engage: public intoxication and alcohol consumption, trespassing, loitering, soliciting and prowling, fighting, using offensive language and threatening behaviors, aggressive panhandling, defecation and urination, sleeping and camping in parks, graffiti and littering.
Some security suggestions for local businesses to manage the homeless menace at their places of business include:
- Caution when dealing with the homeless as a good majority of them have real mental illnesses such as schizophrenia
- Not offering them money or food as this only encourages them to return or to remain and panhandle. (The preferred option for giving to the homeless is donations to missions, food banks and other social programs).
- Never allow anyone to loiter or camp in front of your business or to store carts, blankets or their personal items on your property. Lock trash dumpsters, gates and storage sheds. Turn off power outlets and remove handles from water spigots.
- Additional law enforcement recommendations for businesses include installation of motion-activated exterior lighting, landscaping and tree and bush maintenance to eliminate homeless hiding places and installing security cameras and keeping your property free of junk, trash and litter which signal opportune campsites to the homeless.
NYC Security Company
Partnering with a specialized NYC Security Company for your place of business can provide business owners with additional security options and support. A good NYC security company will have practical experience and backgrounds in and from law enforcement, government and the military. Citadel Security Agency, an elite NYC Security Company, is able to provide security and risk analyses and offer solutions matched to your business’ budget.
A memorable New York event such as Pope Francis’ visit should not be predominated by the unpleasantness, crime and squalor associated with the homeless. However, it is an opportunity for businesses to become more proactive in regards to their own security needs and an opportunity to consult with specialists like Citadel, an elite NYC security company. Contact us today at (212) 509-5570 for more information on how to provide optimal safety conditions for your patrons.