Door to Door Solicitors Spark Questions

  A number of residents throughout the Greater Stonehaven Area have asked us if it is possible to keep door to door solicitors out of our neighborhoods.

 First, it must be realized that it is not uncommon for individuals that are looking for vacant homes to burglarize or cars to steal to pose as door to door salesmen. We have found individuals doing this with clothing bearing corporate logos, fake photo ID cards, and even briefcases full of literature for a particular product or organization that they claim to represent, but when the companies are contacted they have no knowledge of the person. For these reasons you should never open your door to a solicitor you don’t know; talk to them through the door, etc.

 Unfortunately, the answer is no. While we could erect “No Soliciting” signs at the entry points to our community, we would not be able to detain an individual who has the intent of soliciting our residents for walking on our streets.

 The problem for us is that the streets connecting our neighborhoods are, in a legal sense, “public thoroughfares” constructed & maintained by the City of Charlotte with tax dollars collected from residents throughout the entire city and therefore they are open to anyone wishing to drive, bicycle, or walk on them at any time of the day or night.

 Our community situation is much different from that of  an apartment or townhouse community where the entire plot of land on which the individual residences sit is private property. Generally, the streets and facilities (playgrounds, pools, community centers) in these communities are maintained by a private management company or a homeowner’s association and open only to the residents and guests of residents of those communities. This is why these communities can erect “No Trespassing, No Soliciting” signs at their entry points and legally enforce them.

 While we cannot prohibit solicitors from entering our community, we can make their attempts to do business in our community difficult:

* Each resident can post  conspicuous “No Trespassing, No Soliciting” signs at the entry points to their property. When this is done in combination with a verbal notice being given to a solicitor it allows us (the SCP) and law enforcement to uphold the property owner’s wishes and subjects the solicitor to arrest.

* Every time a solicitor knocks on your door call report them as a suspicious person to us and we will respond to the location in an attempt to find them, and if we do we will obtain their information (who they are, who they are working for, etc.) and determine if they have a solicitors license. Or, if they are representing a charitable organization for which they are seeking donations, if they have the requisite paperwork from the North Carolina Secretary of State’s Office. If they do not have the above items we will give them the opportunity to leave, but if they refuse we will detain them for the Char-Meck Police Dept.

 Obviously the goal is to deter soliciting in our neighborhoods and experience has shown that the more difficult we make their efforts the more likely it is that they will leave and not come back.

Published in: on August 18, 2010 at 10:22 am  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: