Trespassing, Vagrancy & Drug Activity

Transients and Vagrancy

On Public Property

From time to time, camps and/or groups of transients crop up in Belltown. Usually this occurs under freeway ramps, in vacant lots or in cars. The Seattle Police Department (SPD) will break up these camps and have Seattle Public Utilities cleanup and clear away debris, and/or have cars moved, but it will take 72 hours after the occurrence has been reported. To report transient camps or vagrancy, call at the Seattle Police Department at 206-684-5011.

On Private Property

If transients or vagrancy is a problem at your business, the Seattle Police Department will come to your assistance. To be prepared and to speed up actions that can be taken, consider completing the Seattle Police Department ‘Trespass Authorization Form’ that gives SPD authority to come onto your property’s common areas to remove transients and their belongings. To access this form, visit the Seattle Police’s Criminal Trespassing Program website.

Drug Activity

The battle against illegal drugs

Like all large U.S. cities, Seattle faces a growing battle against illegal drugs. The police need community involvement to solve this problem. It is important to know what an investigation entails and how you can help.

It is often hard to be certain that what you are seeing involves drugs, but some patterns may indicate drug activity.

What to Look For

  • An unusually large amount of traffic coming to a building in cars, taxis or walking, often at strange hours. Visitors may sometimes pound on doors or shout to be let in. This traffic is usually quick with people staying only a short time. Sometimes people do not go in the building at all; others come out to meet them.
  • Finding drugs or drug paraphernalia – syringes, pipes, etc in the vicinity.
  • Repeated, observable exchanges of items, especially where money is visible.
  • Offers to sell you or your employees drugs, or conversations about drugs that are overheard.
  • Noxious odors from or around the building, such as ‘musty’ smells.
  • Buildings where extreme security measures seem to being taken.
  • Buildings where no owner or primary tenant is apparent and there is no maintenance being done.

How to Report Drug Activity

Don’t assume police already know or that someone else will call.

In Progress

For drug activity that is in progress and needs an immediate response, call 911. If a patrol car is available, an officer will respond.


If the situation is occurring over and over and police need to be aware of but it does not require an immediate response, there are three things you can do:

Make a Narcotics Activity Report (NAR) by calling the SPD Narcotics Section from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm at 206-684-5797.
Call the SPD at 206-684-5011, 24 hours a day.
Call the SPD Community Police Team serving the West Precinct at 206-684-8996.