WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Officer Lt. Yolanda Sparrow with the Wilmington Police Department says they've seen an increase in calls for panhandlers over the past year. She says on average they'll get around five calls a day.
She says panhandling is against city code and creates a dangerous concern for drivers. Lt. Sparrow says many times cars will stop suddenly when they decide to give to panhandlers or weave through traffic to get back to where panhandlers are.
She says it also uses up manpower and resources. Many times she says police officers will have to leave the call they are on to respond to a call for panhandling.
Officers say they typically see an increase in panhandling over the holidays and are asking people to give to organizations that help panhandlers instead of giving directly to them. Lt. Sparrow fears that if more people give to panhandlers, panhandling will increase in the Port City.
The WPD says when it comes to panhandlers they are either given a verbal warning, cited or arrested.
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