(NewsNation) — A Maryland county near Washington, D.C., is enforcing a youth curfew after a surge in juvenile crime.
Officials in Prince George’s County announced Monday that the curfew will be enforced for 30 days from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. from Sunday through Thursday and from 11:59 p.m. to 5 a.m. Friday and Saturday, the Washington Post reported.
The county investigated 24 homicides in August alone, WTOP reported, and County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said there have been 430 juvenile arrests this year, nearly double the number from last year.
The ordinance applies to anyone younger than 17 and includes some exceptions, including if the minor is with a parent or guardian, exercising First Amendment rights, or returning home from a school event or work.
Parents are subject to fines ranging from $50 to $250, and a juvenile can be arrested if they have received a previous warning when in violation of the curfew. Operators of public spaces are also subject to fines if they knowingly allow minors to remain on their premises during the curfew hours.
Alsobrooks noted that the curfew has actually been on the books since 1995 but is now going to be enforced by police, Fox 5 reported. Reaction to the curfew was mixed, with some saying it was long overdue and others arguing it would lead to negative police-teen reactions.
“I know this isn’t a popular thing to say, but the truth of the matter is, ‘It’s a fair question: Where are their parents?'” Alsobrooks said at a news conference Monday. “Where are their aunties, where are the uncles, and other family members who are responsible?”