Cracking down on teen crowds, Prince George’s County considers curfew expansion

Leaders in Prince George’s County are looking to expand youth curfew.

There's a bill on the table in response to the ongoing safety concerns and growing crowds of teens in public spaces.

Leaders say if students are in school, they are less likely to find themselves in trouble.

"We’ve seen an uptick in young people by the hundreds – gathered unsupervised and engaged in not the most productive behavior," Councilmember Edward Burroughs told FOX 5 Monday. 


Questions arise regarding youth curfew in Prince George's County

Questions are arising about Prince George's County’s mandatory curfew for young people after a county leader reported the majority of teen crime happens during the day.

Councilmember Burroughs is referring to a recent incident at the National Harbor where law enforcement had to get involved.

"This past weekend we had about 200 people in one commercial zone in the county, and we can’t have that," he said. 

He’s hoping his proposed legislation to expand the juvenile curfew to commercial areas passes immediately.

"Based off of the frequency of large gatherings and young people unsupervised in commercial zones, I’m sure there are enough votes to make the bill an emergency," Burroughs explained. "You have 14-year-olds roaming the Harbor at 2 a.m., unsupervised."

Currently, juveniles can not be out between midnight and 5 a.m. without supervision. But this bill would allow property owners to include additional restrictions in commercial spaces like National Harbor.

But tackling juvenile crime will take more than just expanding curfew.

The District 8 council member believes, "When young people are not in school they are often in the neighborhoods committing crimes."  

State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy says she sees a common theme.

"In prosecuting cases with young people involved in carjackings, auto theft and robberies and other crimes, it is that one of the commonalities is that they have horrible attendance records," Braveboy said. 

About 30 percent of students in Prince George’s County are habitually truant.

Braveboy’s Office is working with the school district on an "anti-truancy project" providing families with resources to ensure children are in the classroom.