CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The City of Charleston is considering a curfew for minors in the central business district following an uptick in crime highlighted in a Count on 2 Investigation.
The proposed ordinance says juveniles contribute to criminal activity around King Street. Specifically, it mentions large groups of juveniles that took part in a late-night brawl that ended with gunshot and stab wounds.
The ordinance would make several things illegal; anyone under 17 would not be allowed to be in the central business district between midnight at 6:00 a.m.
It would also be illegal for parents, or the person responsible for the child, to allow them to violate the ordinance, and anyone with a vehicle would not be permitted to let juveniles use the automobile during that midnight- 6:00 a.m. time span.
Additionally, business owners or employees in the area would not be allowed to have juveniles on their premises during that time. They would need to notify the police department that the juvenile is not leaving to protect themselves from being in violation.
The central business district includes all blocks of King Street from Line Street to Broad Street, and then the portion of Meeting Street from Broad through the Market area, over to Concord Street.
During a committee on public safety Friday afternoon, Lt. McGlochlin said the ordinance would help address what has become an on-going problem.
“Right now, if you have people that are involved and they’re going around and doing things you might not want them to be doing, we don’t have anything to do with them if there’s no offense. Whereas this will give us an option to get out with them and, you know, encourage them to leave,” he stated.
He went on to say, “In light of the last couple events, I mean we’ve had shootings, stabbings, and we’ve caught juveniles in the car with guns; we just kind of had an uptick and I think this would be a great option to help us have additional tools in way of kind of handling some things we need to handle.”
There are a few exceptions; if the parent or person responsible for the juvenile is accompanying them, they can remain in the area.
If the juvenile is working in the area or returning home from work, school, religious, or civic activity and passing through the area without stopping, that would also be allowed.
The full city council would need to pass the ordinance. That would happen on Tuesday.