After Midnight, Teen Crime Howls in Dallas

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Police are using the city's summertime curfew to fight skyrocketing juvenile crime.

    Dallas police are turning to the city's summertime curfew ordinance to help fight juvenile crime.
    While overall crime in Dallas is down this year, arrests of teenagers for committing violent crimes is on the rise.

    "The summer time curfew is all about keeping kids from committing crimes and preventing them from becoming victims, nothing good happens after midnight," Senior Cpl. Janice Crowther said.

    Officers are actively looking for teenagers who are in violation of the curfew, which requires juveniles to be home after 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and after midnight on Friday and Saturday.

    "We are going after this hard," she said. "Officers are on the lookout for curfew violators."

    Crowther said police arrested 68 teenagers in June for violating the curfew.

    Police said they believe keeping kids off the streets late at night can decrease the number of crimes they commit. It can also help keep teenagers from becoming crime victims.

    Year-to-date statistics provided by the Dallas Police Department show arrests of teenagers who are committing violent crimes are up in nearly every category compared to this time last year.

    Teens accused of rape is up 33 percent, aggravated assault is up 40 percent, theft is up 48 percent and teens accused of auto theft is up a whopping 82 percent.

    Police say curfews work. The one juvenile crime that has seen a decrease in the number of juvenile arrests this year is burglary, which is down 20 percent. Police attribute it to the enforcement of the city's new daytime curfew that went into effect this year.

    "Kids need to be home at night, and the parents need to use this curfew law as a way to save their children," said the Rev. Ronald Wright, executive director of Justice Seekers, an organization that works with troubled teenagers.