Pan-handling on Beale becoming a problem - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jason Miles

Pan-handling on Beale becoming a problem

Aggressive pan-handlers are all over downtown Memphis. Now, new security may be sweeping them off Main Street, but some say the beggers have simply moved a few blocks to Beale.

Her companion warned her, but a tourist from Oklahoma hands over a few dollars to a pan-handler.

Not everyone on Beale Street works THIS hard for their money.

"They just kind of run our customers off. And at night, it goes from bad to worse," worker Regina Burke said.

Burke sees it all from her spot at B-B King's.
"And I've see them migrate from where I live and protrude on down," Burke said.

She lives off Main Street, where a new security force is being paid to run pan-handlers away.

The Center City Commission is footing the bill.

"All aimed at making downtown a pleasant experience and safe experience," Jeff Sanford of the Center City Commission said.

Residents said the extra officers seem to be working.

"Everybody recognizes what they're here for and they have pushed people off the street. They really have," downtown resident Charles Harbour said.

Beale Street is not the CCC's domain. So when it comes to aggressive pan-handling down here,the buck stops with somebody else.         

Private security and police patrol Beale.

Anthony Walker said it is part of the reason the pan-handlers he knows have re-located.

Regina Burke is begging for some help before the bottom lines of Beale Street businesses take a serious hit.          

Click here to e-mail Jason Miles.

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