[Photo Credit: By Dave Z - Flickr: CITY HALL PHILADELPHIA, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26455917]

Philadelphia to Enact Youth Curfew as Crime Spirals Out of Control

The Philadelphia City Council reportedly voted to enact legislation on December 1 establishing a permanent curfew of 10 p.m. for children and teenagers under the age of 18.

The law was approved 15-1 and will now be signed by Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney, according to NBC Philadelphia. According to NBC Philadelphia, Philadelphia adopted a temporary curfew during the summer as violent crime increased, requiring 14-17 year-olds to be home by 10 p.m. and children 13 and under to be inside by 9:30 p.m.

The law was presented by Council member Katherine Gilmore Richardson in order to safeguard young people from harm.

According to Richardson, the proposal will not penalize curfew breakers.

The bill extends curfew center hours to 2 a.m. and compels the police department to report on how the ordinance is being enforced. Philadelphia has seen an increase in violent crime.

Some however believe that the curfew simply isn’t effective at reducing crime among young people in the city.

Between July 7, 2022, and September 19, 2022, Philadelphia police reported 536 curfew violations. During the same time period in 2021, 124 violations were reported while 125 were reported during the same span in 2020. 

An examination of gun violence statistics found that the frequency of adolescent shootings at night rose during the period when the prior curfew was in effect.

30 children were shot between 9:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. between July 7 and September 19, 2022, compared to 15 children during the same time period in 2021 and 25 children during the same time period in 2020.

The numbers raise serious questions about whether or not the proposed curfew will have any effect on violent crime in the city.

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