Seaford Police say panhandling has increased, now they’re trying to address the issue

SEAFORD, Del.- This week the Seaford Police Department shared a video with the community addressing the issue of panhandling, something they said has gotten worse in the community in the past few months.

“We’re seeing more people out in the shopping centers and our complaint increase two calls are used to be on occasion now they’re basically almost a weekly to daily basis,” Michael Rapa, Deputy of Police, said.

Deputy Chief Rapa, said panhandling can be a safety issue, so it’s important to educate others.

“These areas of high traffic areas is that dealing with people you don’t know can lead to safety issues and also causing distractions to drivers,” Deputy Chief Rapa said.

Deputy Chief Rapa said they are now putting up signs in the community to let people know not to give out money to panhandlers, and to instead give directly to charity organizations.

“You can give to a charity and those people that are either have issues or need assistance can go to those charities and they can be directed to get services or assistance,” Deputy Chief Rapa said.

The Chief also said the police department is now looking to educate those panhandlers on the resources that are available to them, but one resident we spoke with said she thinks that won’t solve the problem.

“In my personal opinion, I know they are trying now but it’s gotten so bad I just don’t think its going to help much,” Melissa Thompson, a Seaford resident, said. “I don’t think it’s going to do much help because people already know there’s help out there.”

All in all- both people we spoke to agree that this issue can only be solved with the help of the whole community – not just police.

The Deputy Chief tells us that they along with property owners and store owners are handing out pamphlets to panhandlers to let them know of the resources available to them

Categories: Delaware, Local News