The purpose of posting "no loitering" signs is to distract or deter antisocial gatherings and behaviors. The signs are normally placed in areas where traffic is heavy and highly populated. These areas include community properties and private properties.
"No loitering" signs are commonly seen on private property and near businesses and schools. Private property, such as abandoned buildings, old housing structures and outdated buildings, usually attract unwanted attention. Empty buildings are an attraction to the homeless and to children looking to have fun. The signs are meant to discourage undesirable gatherings and to discourage unwanted antisocial behaviors near places of employment or social functions. "No loitering" signs are similar to "no trespassing" signs, as both signs literally send out the same message. Properties that displays these signs want to keep their property safe from vandalism, unauthorized entry and undesirable attention.
When law enforcement officials are called to properties where "no loitering" signs are posted, intruders are penalized according to the law. Violators are taken to jail and charged with trespassing or loitering, or they are ticketed and fined. Businesses use "no loitering" signs to discourage unwanted solicitation from vendors and salespeople who are looking to sell their services or products.