Youth curfew to stop flash mobs in Philadelphia extended

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 24, 2011 11:59 AM
Youth curfew to stop flash mobs in Philadelphia extended

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - A youth curfew has worked so well at quenching flash mobs in downtown Philadelphia that it has been extended until school resumes after Labor Day, officials said on Tuesday.

Not a single flash mob incident has been reported since the 9 p.m. curfew went into effect on August 9, said Mark McDonald, a spokesman for Mayor Michael Nutter.

At the same time, 106 youths have been detained as violators of the curfew for anyone under age 18 in both Center City and University City, he said. Those detained were taken to police stations, where their parents were called to pick them up.

"It's working," McDonald said.

"It's sending a strong message to parents and young people," he said.

The curfew was scheduled to expire last weekend but was extended until after Labor Day, when school resumes in Philadelphia.

The mayor put the curfew in place after roaming hordes of youths as young as 11 set upon a pedestrian and broke the man's teeth, and assaulted storeowners.

McDonald said the city has been using a carrot and stick approach by detaining violators but also keeping city recreation centers open later and sponsoring events for young people.

(Reporting by Dave Warner; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Jerry Norton)