SUPERVISOR DIANNE JACOB
DATE: March 2, 2010
CONTACT: Jennifer Stone (619) 531-4766
NEW COUNTY CURFEW AIMS TO KEEP KIDS SAFE
Beginning next month, young people in the unincorporated areas of the region will need to be home by 10 p.m. following a unanimous decision of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors today. Supervisor Dianne Jacob urged turning back the curfew from 11 p.m. to 10 p.m. to make the County consistent with other cities and keep young people safe.
The curfew will apply to all those under 18 loitering in public places without permission from a parent or guardian. It won’t apply to minors at or heading home from sanctioned events.
Jacob joined forces with District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and Sheriff Bill Gore to advocate for the earlier curfew. The three officials said the move will stop young people from seeking out jurisdictions with later curfews to stage parties. Jacob said the change will especially help crack down on gang-related activity in the Spring Valley area.
“I can tell you firsthand that Sherriff’s deputies need this important tool to make communities safer,” Jacob said, describing a scene she witnessed during a recent curfew sweep in Spring Valley. Jacob said deputies and probation officers lacked the authority to break up a large party outside an apartment complex at 10:30 p.m. The group included suspected gang members.
“Statistics reveal that the hour between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. is prime crime time for kids. By enforcing the earlier curfew we can ensure that kids are exactly where their families believe them to be,” Jacob said. “For kids that are in the wrong place, we’re working with law enforcement, community groups and faith-based organizations to put them on a path to better behavior.”
Local statistics suggest that the enforcement of an earlier curfew will lessen the number of crimes against juveniles and especially target violent crimes. More than 43 percent of curfew violations within the Sherriff’s jurisdiction occur on Friday and Saturday night, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
The cities of San Diego, El Cajon, La Mesa and Santee have 10 p.m. curfews. The County plans to contact cities with 11:00 p.m. curfews to request the earlier hour.