Panhandling on the rise in NYC
FOX 5 NY (NEW YORK) - There seems to be an influx of panhandlers in New York City. That's the observation from many residents particularly those on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Lucrative streets like Park Ave. have become a common gathering place for homeless to ask for money to drivers at red lights.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has been asked about the rise in panhandlers. He has pointed the finger at his predecessor, Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
Some complaints from residents and local store owners are that some panhandlers seem more aggressive and that the problem seems to be getting worse.
There have been several attacks documented this summer by homeless. One of them involved a 72-year-old architect waiting at a corner, stabbed in the neck with a pair of scissors by a homeless woman.
The other attack was on a tourist leaving his Grand Central hotel. He was clubbed in the face by a homeless man.
From City Hall to Police Plaza, a real and effective solution to violent homelessness is being sought.
Over the next 11 months, the NYPD will put one third of its officers through intensive training to better handle the homeless problem. But city officials say they are handcuffed when it comes to handling this non-criminal crisis.
Police Commissioner Bratton said this isn't a problem that the NYPD can arrest their way out of.
The Sergeants Benevolent Association has asked its members, and the public, to document homeless people across the city.
"What we're seeing as a result of some of these policies is a permissive behavior in the city of New York. That it's OK to leave people lying in the street. It's OK to carry a gun, we've see the shooting go up. It's OK to urinate in public," said Ed Mullins, President, SBA.