Who to Call

What to Do

When panhandling and other illegal behaviors cause problems for you or your customers, contact the police. By calling police, business & property owners help police find and address problems, and document when, where and how often problems are occurring. Even if police can’t come right then, making calls generates data on the problem and its extent. We understand that this is extra effort on your part, and appreciate your help in addressing these issues.

While panhandling is not necessarily illegal, aggressive panhandling - the blocking of paths and doorways, intimidation and harassment, and other uncivil behavior - is unacceptable.

Who to Call

911: Emergency whenever you feel threatened, unsafe, or in danger (e.g. shoplifting if in progress) 

New Haven Police Department Non-Emergency Number |203-946-6316 (record the dispatchers #)
For assistance with:

  • Reporting unwanted behaviors in your business (e.g. repeat trespassers)
  • Reporting Shoplifters
  • Aggressive panhandlers
  • Suspicious packages (See something, Say something)

INFO New Haven Visitor Center | 203-773-9494 Mon-Sat 10AM to 9PM & Sunday 12PM-5PM
For assistance with:

  • Panhandlers
  • Walking safety escorts
  • Maintenance issues: graffiti, overflowing trash cans, etc.


  • Yale Police Department Non-Emergency Number | 203-432-4400
  • NH PD Downtown Sub-station | 203-946-7827
  • NH PD Downtown District Manager Sgt. Sean Maher  | 203-589-8984
  • You can also email Sgt. Maher for non-urgent problems or questions at SMaher@newhavenct.gov
  • Town Green District main office number | 203-401-4245

When to Call

When you witness illegal behaviors, including the following. Call right while the behavior is occurring.

  • Panhandlers (or others) who:
    • Display aggressive or intimidating behavior, or try to get a handout via threat or coercion
    • Obstruct the path of any passer(s)-by
  • Public alcohol consumption
  • Public urination or defecation
  • Fighting or behaviors threatening or intimidating to you or your customers
  • Littering and illegal dumping
  • “Camping” or living on benches
  • Living or sleeping in bus shelters; remaining in bus shelters unless waiting for the next bus
  • Smoking illegal substances
  • Sleeping in doorways, entryways
  • Selling things without a permit

*in order to enforce any of these violations, the person calling the police must file a complaint.

Note: You can also ask someone to leave your business (private property) or licensed café space.

What to Report

Try to describe in detail:

  • The person from top to bottom – hat, hair, scars, marks, tattoos, accent, clothes, shoes.
  • What they are doing (specific). For example, do you see a beer can? A liquor bottle?
  • Where are they now (exact location) or approaching cross streets.
  • If problem is recurring – what days and times does it occur? What is the pattern?

Officers cannot enforce what we might call loitering or vagrancy.