Unsupervised Children Cause Havoc In Philly
by Alex Lloyd Gross
April 11, 2023
It’s only April and there has been at least two incidents of unruly behavior by children, running rampant in the streets. 40-30 or even 15 years ago this kind of problem as unheard of. As recently as last week, about 500 kids attending a carnival, at 7th and Packer started to cause problems. One teenager was arrested. This carnival has been there for years. There may have been some minor issues but nothing as terrifying as this.
Going forward, extra security was hired to forbid entry to all kids who arrive without supervision. That means when two 17 year olds want to go on a date, they better not go to the carnival, which is a great destination for people and a great date night. Who wants parents shadowing them on a night out? Worse yet, who wants to spend money on tickets at the carnival, only to be kicked out? Especially when you are not bothering anyone.
The definition of children is anyone under 18. The test will be later this year when several concerts take place in South Philadelphia. Some, like Taylor Swift are geared towards people under 18. A good number of them will arrive via SEPTA.
Philadelphia Police used to have a “Flash Mob” detail staged at city hall during the summer. It was there that a contingent of officers would stage and be ready to respond en masse should trouble start. That strategy worked.
Social media is also a problem, as kids will use it for communications. Police will have to infiltrate the apps and communications to stay one step ahead of trouble. At the start of this month, a 14 yer old teenager was arrested for having a replica gun on Market Street. Their friend tried to fight police in an effort to free them. One officer got hurt in the melee, as several of the 500 delinquents running down Market Street filmed the injured officer for no reason, other than to put it on social media.
A strict curfew is being considered. Activities sponsored by police or city agencies to give kids something to do is another idea.