Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced that the Administration in cooperation with the District Attorney’s Office, the Philadelphia Municipal Court, Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) community groups, business owners and other stakeholders will launch a coordinated response to “flash mobs” and teen violence, including more enforcement and sustainable, positive opportunities for young people.
“Today, we are issuing an enforcement response and a community response to these terrible acts by a small number of reckless teenagers who have damaged our city and our citizens,” said Mayor Nutter. “Through the coordinated efforts of City officials, the Philadelphia Police Department, the District Attorney’s Office, the Courts and concerned citizens, we will put a stop to this violence in the heart of our city.”
Mayor Nutter signed an executive order to temporarily reduce the curfew to 9:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays for all minors under the age of 18 in targeted enforcement districts in Center City and University City. Throughout the remainder of the City, the curfew will remain 10:00 PM for minors under the age of 13 and 12:00 AM for minors under the age of 18.
Mayor Nutter added, “In September, I am looking forward to working with City Council to amend our city’s curfew laws to better anticipate our enforcement needs.”
Minors who are caught breaking curfew will be sent home, brought home or transported to a police station where their parents will be contacted. Minors may be issued a citation with a $100 to $300 fine for a first offense.
District Attorney Seth Williams added, “We will be prosecuting these young criminals to the fullest extent of the law. There is no excuse for what they did, and they have brought great shame upon themselves and their families. Let this be a message to any others who think that participating in flash mobs is acceptable or fun — don’t do it. We will apprehend you, prosecute you, and send you away. You will not damage the reputation of our great City. And I will be working with our State Legislature and City Council to enact laws to hold those parents who permit their children to engage in this type of criminal conduct criminally accountable.”
Mayor Nutter also outlined consequences for parents and legal guardians of children who break curfew. Parents, after receiving a first violation notice, will be fined up to $500 for successive violations. These notices and citations will be issued when the parent comes to collect their child from the police station.
If parents do not get their child within a reasonable time, the PPD will contact the Department of Human Services (DHS) to initiate an investigation. Additionally, parents whose child under the age of 18 is found liable or guilty by a court for injury, theft or other criminal acts, parents will be liable to the person who suffered the injury or loss of property. Parents and legal guardians are subject to imprisonment for up to 90 days for repeat curfew violation offenses.
Until the beginning of the school year, the PPD will have a greater presence in the targeted enforcement areas. The enforcement will include the Mounted Unit, Bike Patrol and other officers throughout Center City. To support these enforcement efforts, community leaders will volunteer as part of the Safe Corridors campaign. This campaign will encourage adults and responsible youth from across the region to patrol the targeted enforcement areas and to contact the PPD if violent or suspicious behavior is observed.
In the long term, the PPD will continue to work with SEPTA to enhance communication and coordination during “flash mob” attacks. Additionally, the PPD’s SafeCam initiative encourages businesses and residents to register their surveillance cameras with the PPD to assist with the apprehension and prosecution of individuals participating in criminal acts. Business owners and residents can visit https://safecam.phillypolice.com/ to join this program.