In the first month of Baltimore’s tough new youth curfew, about four kids a night were picked up by police, a smaller-than-expected number that supporters say shows the law is working, the Baltimore Sun reports. City officials say the figures, which show police issued 120 curfew violations in the program’s first 30 days, indicate that parents and children have gotten the message that young people need to be inside at night. “The message has gotten out,” said City Councilman Brandon Scott, who sponsored the curfew bill. “The whole point of this was not to grab up thousands of kids. This is about the most vulnerable children. I just simply see fewer kids out by themselves at night.”
Others question whether the law is being enforced. “They got so much push-back from communities and advocacy groups they aren’t enforcing it,” said City Councilman Carl Stokes, who opposed the measure. Stokes believes police are tending to more pressing matters than aggressively enforcing the youth curfew. “I hope the police have the good sense to address real crimes instead of kids playing,” he said. The new curfew, which took effect Aug. 8, updated a law that had been on the books for 20 years. It requires children younger than 14 to be indoors by 9 p.m. all year long. Youths 14, 15 and 16 can stay out until 10 p.m. on school nights and 11 p.m. on weekends and over the summer.