Pr. George Juvenile curfew data shows mixed results

Prince George’s County Police have released crime data showing that overall crime has increased by 2% at all hours of the day since the start of a curfew for minors, but has decreased by 5% during curfew hours compared to the same period last year.

Global Crime during all hours fell from a total of 1,934 offenses reported from September 9 to October 20, 2021 to 1,973 compared to the same weeks this year when the curfew was enforced. Property crimes are up 7% this year from 1,450 offenses, but violent crimes are down 13% from 484 offenses in every hour last year, according to county police department data. Generally, violent crime decreased during curfew hours, with 54 fewer offenses reported during the period this year, compared to 147 compared to 2021.

Crime varies from year to year, according to an analysis of Washington Post data, making it difficult to draw a firm conclusion about whether the curfew worked. It is also unclear what the trend in crime has been over time due to the sample size provided by the department.

Enforcement of Prince George’s juvenile curfew will extend until the end of the year

County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D) announced a month-long enforcement of the juvenile curfew for children under 17 on Labor Day after one of the deadliest months in the history of the jurisdiction. This month it extended the curfew until the end of the year. Alsobrooks and County Police Chief Malik Aziz hailed the curfew as a “tool” to tackle rising crime and engage community members.

“This curfew helps our county form a coalition,” Alsobrooks said at an Oct. 11 news conference. “A coalition of friends, family, relatives and neighbors…when it comes to stopping crime, we are a Prince George’s.”

Curfew hours are 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11:59 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Murders have fallen from 15 in the hour at this time last year to five this year, according to police data as of Thursday. Two murders took place during curfew this year and three last year. The number of stolen vehicles is up 10% to 423 during all hours compared to last year – 115 were reported during curfew hours during this year’s period, compared to 103 last year.

While curfew violations remained low throughout its enforcement, four minors were caught violating the curfew early Wednesday morning, the police department said. Officers responded to a reported trespassing around 2:40 a.m. in the 9500 block of Muirkirk Road in Laurel. Police arrested a 16-year-old girl, two 12-year-old girls and an 11-year-old boy, all related, coming out of a vacant apartment, according to the department.

The department said the children told officers they stopped at the empty apartment on their way home from a store. Officers escorted them home and a curfew warning letter for the first offense will be sent to their relative, the department said.

Alsobrooks said she would reassess curfew enforcement after the holidays.

John Harden contributed to this report.

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