CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) - WBTV has learned that Simon Property Group, the company that owns Concord Mills Mall, is considering a curfew at the mall. This comes after three teens were shot, one fatally, in December, and reports of three people robbing customers in a parking lot earlier this month.
If a curfew is put in place, it wouldn’t be the first time that a local shopping center took such a step.
In 2009 the Youth Supervision Policy at Northlake Mall was put into effect. The policy, as seen on the mall website, says that anyone under 17 must be accompanied by an adult on Friday and Saturday, and proof of age and ID is required for both the underage person and the escort.
“Idle teenagers, 16 year olds, no supervision on a Friday night, lot of energy, they get in the way a lot of times and a lot of times they can get in trouble," a Concord Mills customer told WBTV. “If they had some kind of supervision, a curfew, maybe they wouldn’t get into that trouble.”
Are curfews effective? A recent study by the International Council of Shopping Centers found that 55 large US malls have curfews. It’s a trend that started in the 1990′s, but the survey found that of the 55 large malls with curfews now, 30 instituted the curfew within the last three years.
That study also found that while a curfew may keep some young customers, it increases the number of families and older shoppers who may have been avoiding the mall.
David Levenberg is a nationally-known security expert…he says it is the responsibility of the mall to protect customers.
“Well the ownership of the mall has a duty to provide a reasonably safe environment for their shoppers and their tenants," Levenberg said. "So their responsibility is to put a security program in place that’s well thought out. That addresses the most likely risks. And it’s also their responsibility to maintain tracking and trending and what’s going on so that they can adjust their program.”
But will a curfew be implemented at Concord Mills? There’s a petition with more than 11,000 signatures calling for one. The mall did not respond to inquiries, but did tell local law enforcement that it is under consideration.
Hanes Mall, a large mall in Winston-Salem also has what it calls a Youth Escort Policy. It went into effect in 2018.