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Flyers Create Crime and Litter Hazard

January 16, 1994

"Safe at Home: Local Crime Prevention Efforts are Neighborhood's Best Protection" (Dec. 19) was an excellent survey of steps each of us can take to minimize the risk of burglary.

However getting someone to "pick up your mail, newspapers of other items that signal that no one is home" is easier said than done.

Ever since postal rates began to climb so have the number of hand-delivered, unsolicited commercial flyers thrown on our front porches and driveways, hung from door knobs, tucked into door jambs and even affixed with tape to our front doors.

On some days delivers by one service are made in the morning while another service adds to the litter in the afternoon. Our residentially zoned homes are being usurped for commercial billboards without our consent or compensation.

This is first and foremost a matter of public safety. When a resident is planning to be out of town, they can ask the newspaper and post office to stop delivery. This cannot be done with the various companies and individuals who are continually distributing these flyers.

As for First Amendment protections--distribution of newspapers, religious, charitable and political messages is clearly protected. It's time our cities had ordinances to put a stop to this growing, crime-inducing, litter-creating problem of the hand-distribution of unsolicited commercial advertisements.

ELLEN STERN HARRIS

Beverly Hills

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