MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.-- Myrtle Beach City Council changed the juvenile curfew on Tuesday in order to help prevent crime in the city.
Anyone 17 years old or younger is no longer allowed to be out alone after midnight. A parent or guardian must accompany them if they are going to be out in the city between 12am and 6am. Previously, the curfew hours were from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m.
City leaders started discussing moving the curfew up an hour earlier immediately after video of a shooting on Ocean Boulevard went viral last month. That shooting was one of several that weekend.
Even though the curfew has only changed by one hour, Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes said he’s confident that change, along with about 200 new city street lights, will have an impact on public safety.
“We’ve noticed that the crimes that we’ve had, that have been through young people, have all been after midnight. We feel that taking it back to midnight will help us move in the right direction in solving this problem,” said Rhodes.
Rhodes also said Myrtle Beach Police will arrest any minor caught without a guardian between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m.
A teen curfew is actually something that's been tried in downtown Greensboro.
"We really didn't find it to be effective," says Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan. "When you came into the city there were these big signs that said 'Curfew in Effect.' It made it look like a war zone. We were asking our police officers to be babysitters more than law enforcement officers."
The curfew went into effect in 2013 but it never stuck. Mayor Vaughan says it's not something the city plans to try again. Instead, the city tries to offer events for teens, like Summer Night Lights
Winston-Salem has never had a teen curfew, but they also offer programs for teens on weekend nights. The city's Fairground Fridays draws in about 500 teens every Friday in the summer.
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