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Cracking down on panhandling in Birmingham

September 12, 2019


LISA: SOME BIRMINGHAM BUSINESSES WANT THE CITY TO CRACK DOWN ON PANHANDLING. WVTM 13’S JON PAEPCKE TAKES A LOOK AT HOW IT’S IMPACTING CUSTOMERS. REPORTER MEN LIKE THIS ARE : REGULARS AT VALLEY AVENUE BUSINESSES LIKE WALGREENS AND CHEVRON. BUT THIS EMPLOYEE WHO WANTED TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS SAYS THE MEN ARE BEGGING FOR MONEY MORE THAN SPENDING IT INSIDE THE STORES.>>I FEEL LIKE IT IS AFFECTING BUSINESSES IN THE AREA AND IT IS DANGEROUS FOR PEOPLE. REPORTER ONE MANAGER SAYS : BETWEEN 15 AND 20 PANHANDLERS BOTHERED HER CUSTOMERS EVERY DAY AND THEY ARE WORRIED IT COULD ESCALATE.>>SOMEBODY IS GOING TO GET HURT. I THINK IT IS TOTALLY UNNECESSARY WHEN WE CAN TAKE CARE OF THE PROBLEM. REPORTER ONE MANAGER SAYS : OFFICERS ARE VERY RESPONSIVE WHEN THEY CALL BIRMINGHAM POLICE, BUT –>>THEY DISAPPEAR. REPORTER EMPLOYEES THINK SOME OF : THE PANHANDLERS LIVE IN NEARBY WOODS. AND THEY’RE PLEADING WITH THE CITY TO ATTACK THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM. CITY COUNCILOR VALERIE ABBOTT FEELS SOMETHING CAN BE DON>>IF THE CITY CONCENTRATES ON THE HOMELESS POPULATION THAT IS LIVING IN THE WOODS SURROUNDING THE AREA, THAT WILL MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE. REPORTER BIRMINGHAM POLICE TELL : US THEY WILL BEEF UP PATROLS IN THE AREA TO SCARE OFF THE

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