Philadelphia’s mayor has announced that a curfew for minors will go into effect this weekend, in an effort to prevent “flash mobs” from forming, the State Column reports.Residents younger than 13 will have to be home by 10 p.m., while those under 18 can be out until midnight. Nobody under 18 can be downtown on Fridays and Saturdays after 9 p.m.
First-time offenders will be taken to a police station and fined $300, while repeat offenders could face tickets as high as $500, according to the BBC. Under the new policy, parents can be held responsible for any crimes committed by minors after curfew.
The mobs, described as consisting only of young black men, organise themselves through social media, and commit attacks so large and spontaneous as to make traditional law enforcement methods impossible.
Flash mobs have been responsible for several instances of violence around the country recently, most prominently at the Wisconsin State Fair this past weekend. The most recent Philadelphia incident featured an unprovoked attack by 40 black youth—one as young as 11—on two whites in the downtown historic district.
“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,” Mayor Michael Nutter said.