More citations had to be given to parents and guardians from Newton County for their children violating Conyers’ underage curfew law over the weekend.
From 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Saturday night, Conyers Police issued 16 citations for kids loitering in the Conyers Crossroads parking lot. Eleven of the citations were kids who reside in Covington.
The different groups of juveniles, ages 13 to 16, stated they either just finished watching a movie at Crossroads Cinemas, 1536 Dogwood Drive, Conyers, or were walking to the nearby Walmart Supercenter, when police questioned them.
On the night of Sept. 13, Conyers Police issued 14 citations for kids fighting in the parking lot area of Conyers Crossroad after the city-wide curfew. Of those 14 citations, 13 were to parents or guardians from the Covington area.
Unlike the week prior, the kids on Saturday weren’t creating a disturbance, but were spotted by police patrolling the area. According to Conyers Police Investigator and Public Information Officer Kim Lucas, police told the kids prior to 11 p.m. that they had to get home before curfew.
The movie theater in Conyers is the closest for residents from Covington. Covington teenagers regularly make the trip across the county line on the weekends to catch a movie with their friends.
But Lucas wants adults from Covington know that Conyers has a curfew for teens; they should make plans to pick up their kids when the movie is over.
“Our goal is to not issue any citations,” she said. “Not only do we want to prevent these teens from committing crime, but we want to prevent them from (being) victims.”
According to the city ordinance, which was adopted April 2011, between the hours of 9:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, any 16-year-old or younger is not allowed to wander public areas unchaperoned by an adult with exceptions for events such as including sporting events, church events, seeing a movie and emergencies. On Fridays and Saturdays, the effective hours are between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. the following day.
Covington has no curfew ordinance specified for teenagers.
“We don’t want to say that every child out late is doing wrong, but we do want to prevent them from doing wrong,” said Lucas.
Businesses have complained that the large groups of juveniles gathered in their parking lots have deterred customers from entering their businesses. There were reports of fights and objects stolen out of vehicles in the Conyers Crossroads shopping center during the summer of 2013 which prompted the ity of Conyers to put up an orange and white sign stating the curfew is strictly enforced.