Philadelphia Criminal Law News

Mayor Nutter Introduces Philadelphia Curfew to Curb Flash Mobs

Mayor Nutter announced a 9 p.m. Philadelphia curfew for city children in certain neighborhoods in an effort to stop increasing occurrences of flash mob violence.

The curfew will only apply to children under 18 years of age and will only apply on Friday and Saturday nights, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer. In addition, the curfew does not affect the entire city and will only be in place in the Center City and University City neighborhoods. The curfew is slated to end when the school year begins.

According to the Inquirer, Mayor Nutter instituted the curfew in an effort to curb the flash mob violence that has taken hold of the city. In flash mob attacks, gangs of youths (oftentimes minors under 18) gather together through use of social media and text-messaging to create trouble. Flash mobs have been involved in random assaults on innocent victims as well as concerted acts of shop-lifting.

To combat flash mobs, Mayor Nutter created a "holistic approach" to stop the problem before it starts. Along with the curfew, Mayor Nutter has expanded the hours of 20 neighborhood rec centers. By keeping kids indoors on weekends, Nutter hopes they'll stay out of trouble.

And if they don't, parents will be held responsible. Parents called to pick up a child who breaks curfew will get a warning on the first violation and fines of up to $500 for subsequent violations, reports Reuters.

Failing to pick up a child could result in a charge of child neglect.

The Philadelphia curfew is just the latest in a long line of cities turning to curfews to curb youth crime. For example, the City of Chicago expanded its curfew just last month.

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