Loitering (to loiter) is to remain in a particular public place for a protracted time. Under certain circumstances, it is illegal in various jurisdictions.
Despite the assumption of the right to be in a public place loitering is considered a problem when people stay in the public place for no apparent purpose is often seen as suspicious and when the person is identified for some reason as belonging an undesirable element concern is given to what purpose is.
Loitering and spanking
Teenagers are often targeted for loitering around shopping centers when they are used as hang out spots. Be it worries over shoplifting or graffiti and other vandalism, or bored teens simply make a nuisance of themselves of legitimate customers. These assumptions are often unfair, especially given modern teenagers are often the people with largest amount of discretionary spending available, and there are also often no other places where it would be considered appropriate for them to hang out.
This can lead to escalations of defiance when they are told to move along.
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