Phila City Council proposes stricter curfew laws

PHILADELPHIA - September 22, 2011

This summer, flash mobs triggered mass arrests of teenagers and a curfew crackdown.

Now those random beatings, mostly in Center City have generated a new plan to make several changes to the current law.

Primarily city officials want to lower the hours when unaccompanied minors can be out by setting distinct curfews for groups 13 and under, 14-15-years-old, and 16-17-years-old.

Current law sets different curfews during the week and weekend, but the new law would be built around the school year.

Under this new law, curfews would be as follows:
  • 13 and under: 8:00 p.m.
  • 14-15-years-old: 9:00 p.m.
  • 16-17-years-old: 10:00 p.m.

    In the summer, each group would get an extra hour.

    "Once those new curfew rules were imposed we did see a dramatic drop in flash mob activity," said City Councilwoman Blondelle Reynolds-Brown.

    Last month, Mayor Michael Nutter dropped the curfew to nine on weekends in Center City and University City. He also saturated the areas with police after a series of flash mob attacks.

    This new plan would apply all across the city, with no special times for certain areas.

    Fines of up to $500 would be levied on parents whose children are repeat offenders.

    The proposed plan has gotten mixed reactions across the board.

    "It will cut down the violence. It's too much going on in the neighborhoods, They don't have anywhere to go so why not go in the house early," said Erica Lowery of South Philadelphia.

    Not everyone feels the same sentiment.

    "The kids that are doing it they don't follow the rules now so what makes you think they will when they change the times they have to be in," said Siani Samuel of Northeast Philadelphia.

    Those who back this new set of curfew measures hope to implement the stricter horus by the end of the year.

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