Newark curfew for unaccompanied minors takes effect Friday

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Beginning Friday night, juveniles in Newark must be within 100 yards of their residence unless accompanied by an adult.

The Summer Juvenile Curfew Initiative, which runs through Labor Day, is an effort to safeguard minors by ensuring that they remain under the supervision of a parent or guardian at night during the summer months. While city officials say parents have the primary responsibility to provide for the safety and welfare of their children, they say they are committed to preserving the safety of its children and preventing juvenile crime and victimization.

Parents are advised that police will enforce the Curfew Ordinance upon unaccompanied minors ages 18 and below who are more than 100 yards from their residence from 11 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.

"We want the children of our city to enjoy the summer months safely by limiting the opportunity for them to come in contact with criminal activity," Mayor Ras Baraka said. "The safest place for children at night is under the mindful supervision of their parents or another trusted adult, and not on the streets. This initiative is aimed at ensuring that children, and all of Newark's residents, have a fun and safe summer."

Any minor under 18 found to be in violation of the ordinance will be brought to the nearest police station, where he or she will be released to a parent or guardian. A written warning will also be issued that will be kept on file for six months.

A second infraction during that period will result in the arrest of the juvenile. If within six months from the second infraction, the juvenile is again found in violation of the ordinance, he or she and the parent or guardian will be summonsed to appear in court before a judge.

Fines can range from $100 to $1,000.

"The overnight hours are particularly hazardous for children because fewer family members and neighbors are outdoors to monitor their safety," Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said. "While we are working diligently to provide an ample police presence in all our neighborhoods, we respectfully request that parents abide by the summer juvenile curfew ordinance because it will be enforced. Our plan is to reduce the chances that children become victims of crime or become unwittingly engaged in criminal activity."

Ambrose urges parents to abide by the ordinance and asks that anyone with information about any suspicious or criminal activity to call the Department's 24-hour Crime Stopper tip line at 1-877-NWK-TIPS (1-877-695-8477) or 1-877-NWK-GUNS (1-877-695-4867). All anonymous Crime Stopper tips are kept confidential and could result in a reward.

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