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South Bend Police crack down on curfew violations

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Summer vacation is underway and teens have more time on their hands, but police want them to know they will not be spending it out on the streets.

The South Bend Police Department is stepping up its curfew sweeps. In just the past couple days the city took in 24 juveniles between the ages of 13 and 17 for violating curfew.

They were released over to their parents, but after parents agreed to the fine given given for a violation.

"When the sun went down, you had to be in the house," said Mary Barnes.

Barnes is just one of many parents who think it’s important to enforce the curfew law around the city.

Barnes says she is seeing more teens and even young kids out after curfew, "The kids are standing out under the street lights, throwing rocks, going into vacant houses and getting into trouble."

If a teen is picked up during one of these curfew sweeps, parents are charged with a $25 fine and a $100 fine for the second offense. Then, a $200 fine if there is a third violation in less than a year.

While Barnes likes that parents are being held accountable, she thinks the teen should be too.

"Pull weeds, pick up trash or doing something to help their parents pay that $25, because not all parents have it," said Barnes.

Even some teens like Josephine Baily-Mclein, a sophomore at John Adams High School agree. The teen said she hopes cracking down on curfew violations will help cut down on the violence she sees in her own neighborhood.

"If you they are out at 10 or 11 p.m., they are probably up to no good. So, to me that just keeps the neighbor hoods safer," said Bailey-Mclein.

Sgt. Dan Skibins, with South Bend's Street Crimes Unit is in charge of the curfew stings and says he hopes these sweeps will help cut down on all the recent youth violence. "We hope we are getting some of those handguns off the street and the juveniles that are committing some of those crimes," said Skibins.

Skibins said that during the curfew sweeps this time last year, several teens were arrested for having handguns or drugs on them. However, during the latest curfew police did not make any arrests.

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