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Fayetteville leaders suggest curfew for minors

Some city leaders in Fayetteville believe a curfew for minors could help curb crime in the area.

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Some city leaders in Fayetteville believe a curfew for minors could help curb crime in the area.

“I have teenagers myself, and so I believe they should be in the house,” mother Wanda McCray said.

City Councilwoman Val Applewhite said Wednesday. said she’s heard many stories from her constituents about teens doing things like cutting through their backyards late at night.

"Kids playing basketball in the middle of the street at night,” she said. “We’ve got to get the kids off the street at night.”

At least 500 cities across the country have imposed teen curfews, most during overnight hours, according to the 2009 City Mayors Society study.

"Statistically, our youth are in danger of being victims of crime themselves late at night, that is very true," Applewhite said.

Fayetteville police spokesman Dan Grubb said the department is open to any idea that would curb youth crime, including a daytime curfew. He said that many vehicle and home break-ins in the city happen during the day.

“Our perspective is the daytime – 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. range – is when these school kids are committing these crimes because everybody is at work and things,” Grubb said.

Applewhite said she wants to study curfews in other cities to find out what the proper age and hours should be. She admits there would have to be some exceptions for children of parents who work or for children who are out with their parents.

Preston Cunningham, a senior at E.E. Smith High School, said he is in favor of a curfew for minors, even up to 17 years old.

"I feel like if you’re not old enough to do stuff at the store, like buy cigarettes and stuff, you shouldn’t be on the streets that late," he said.

Smithfield passed a teen curfew last month that requires those 17 and under to be off the streets after 11:30 p.m.

Fayetteville will take up the issue at a work session next month.

"At the end of the day, parents must be responsible for their children," Applewhite said.


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