Starting on September 1, Washington DC stepped up enforcement of its youth curfew in some neighborhoods in the District, NBC Washington reported.
As more juveniles are committing violent crimes, including a carjacking last week involving a 13-year-old, DC Metro police are targeting seven high-crime districts with increased curfew enforcement.
Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office hopes that by increasing enforcement in these neighborhoods, District officials can connect families of at-risk youths with support before their children get involved in violent crime.
The District of Columbia has enforced a youth curfew for years. In 2022, 125 juveniles were picked up by police after violating the curfew. As of last week, 66 youths have been picked up so far this year, according to the DC Metropolitan Police Department.
Mayor Bowser said nobody should get the impression that the youth curfew was not being enforced before September 1, insisting that it has been enforced all along. She said the stepped-up enforcement in some areas is in response to the “mobs of young people” the District has been seeing in recent weeks.
Juveniles ages 16 and younger must be off the streets from 11:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays. On Fridays and Saturdays, youths must be off the streets from midnight until 6:00 a.m.
While the curfew is in place throughout Washington DC, the seven neighborhoods facing increased enforcement are Chinatown/Navy Yard, U Street NW, Howard University/Banneker, 14th Street between Otis Place and Spring Rd NW, the 4000 block of Georgia Ave NW, 4400 Benning Rd SE, and 1300 Congress St SE.
Rather than transporting curfew violators to police stations to await a parent or guardian, police will take them to the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services where they will be offered services, including health care and counseling.
Mayor Bowser said this will allow police officers to return to street patrols more quickly while connecting youth with officials “whose job it is to work with kids who are at risk.”