We believe downtown Birmingham should be a friendly place where everyone feels welcome and safe.
Informed downtown stakeholders are important partners in keeping Birmingham’s city center safe. The presence of CAP Ambassadors can deter bad behavior, but enforcing city ordinances is the responsibility of Birmingham Police. This information is intended to help you navigate reporting incidences that make you feel unsafe.
CAP Ambassadors know that everyone panhandling is not homeless, and everyone experiencing homelessness does not engage in harassing panhandling. CAP Ambassadors are committed to treating everyone with respect, and we have dedicated staff members who help connect individuals experiencing homelessness to resources that can help.
WHAT IS CRIMINAL TRESPASSING?
By City law, panhandling on private property is regulated through the trespassing ordinance. Per the City of Birmingham Municipal Code, Ordinance Sec 11-3-2 Criminal Trespass is defined as:
(a) A person is guilty of criminal trespass if he or she knowingly enters or remains unlawfully:
In a dwelling 1st degree
In a building or upon real property which is fenced or enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders 2nd degree
In or upon premises 3rd degree
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to commit criminal trespass as defined in this article.
HOW CAN I ADDRESS TRESPASSING ON PRIVATE PROPERTY?
Contact CAP to secure a No Loitering sign and post it clearly.
Sign an authorization form to allow CAP Ambassadors to act as your representative.
Call City Action Partnership (CAP) at 205-251-0111 as soon as a trespassing problem arises.
Call 911 and say, “I need a police officer here because I am concerned for the safety of myself/my customers/my employees.”
Inform the person that they are trespassing and you have called police.
CAP Ambassadors will attempt to track the trespasser, communicate with police and file a warrant with the magistrate on behalf of the property/business owner.
If the individual returns to the property, call CAP and Birmingham Police. “A trespasser whom we have a warrant against has returned. Please send an officer to arrest him/her.”
HOW CAN I ADDRESS PANHANDLING ON PUBLIC PROPERTY?
Asking strangers for money in public spaces is illegal in Birmingham but is difficult to prosecute. CAP Ambassadors can help curb panhandling by responding to incidents quickly.
Call City Action Partnership (CAP) at 205-251-0111.
Say, “A person is panhandling on the street/sidewalk at [specific location or cross street]. Please respond.”
A CAP Ambassador will respond and contact Birmingham Police to take action when possible.
HOW CAN I ADDRESS LOITERING ON PRIVATE PROPERTY?
Sitting on a public bench is not against the law. Standing in a public area like a sidewalk is not against the law. Birmingham’s loitering ordinance addresses more specific behaviors, like panhandling, harassment, gambling, prostitution and selling goods or services in nonauthorized areas. If you witness any illegal behaviors, please follow the appropriate processes outlined above.
Need help from the CAP team? A call is the quickest way to reach us.