This is a question asked by some of our Delaware alarm system customers who take their business security seriously. We have a great answer for them: Yes!
Delaware is among a handful of states that has made loitering an offense that is punishable by fine – a fine of $345, to be exact, or probation if a judge elects to impose that instead. Delaware’s loitering laws are some of the harshest in the nation, which is a fortunate thing for business owners who would prefer to make their storefronts welcoming to paying customers, rather than people who would stand outside and deter paying customers from coming in.
Here is how the law dictates the handling of loiterers, which is outlined in Delaware’s “Street Harassment” statute. If police are summoned to a scene where there is loitering, or “prowling” in a public place at a time or in a manner unusual for law abiding citizens, they will first be required to give the loiterers an opportunity to dispel any alarm they may be causing. In other words, they should ask for an ID and an explanation as to why the person or people are remaining outside the business location.
If the officer elects to tell the loiterer to move along and he fails to do so, then he may be cited by the officer and required to appear before a judge. If the person is engaging in disorderly conduct, the fine goes up to $575 and there may even be jail time; that’s how seriously our state takes loitering! Don’t let loiterers intimidate your customers from coming in; you have the right to call the police if loitering is a problem. If anyone is a repeat loiterer, you can turn over your video surveillance footage to police to prove it. This is just one way our Delaware alarm system customers can take charge of their own business security.