Mayor Nutter said today that the police and a variety of city agencies would partner with businesses and community groups to "create an integrated, coordinated response" to the so-called "flash mob" incidents in Center City.
On Friday, a pack of youths attacked two people randomly in Center City -- the most recent in a string of troubling and seemingly pointless youth attacks going back more than 18 months. Four young men, ranging in age from 19 to 11, were charged in the incident.
Nutter said the response plan would be unveiled the week of Aug. 8, after his scheduled return from vacation. He said the plan would "consider enforcement options, prosecution, social response, counseling and neighborhood outreach."
In the meantime, the police launched an online program today that allows businesses and residents to register their security cameras with the department.
Here is the full text of the mayor's statement:
“We do not tolerate violence by any individuals in our city, and we will continue to respond with the full force of our city’s justice system to kids who disrespect their City.
“These troubled young people are only a small percentage of our city’s youth; yet, their impulsive actions impact all of our citizens. We need parents to know where their kids are every night. We need mentors to reach out into their communities and work with young people. We need the Police Department to be a continually visible presence on our streets. We need the District Attorney’s Office and the courts to prosecute these offenders and make it clear that this behavior has very serious consequences. We need this to happen in a coordinated effort.
“We also commit to working with our businesses in Center City and throughout the city. Today, the PPD launched SafeCam, an online initiative that allows residents and businesses to register their security cameras with the City. This initiative will allow us to work directly with businesses to ensure that criminals are quickly apprehended. Business owners and residents can visit https://safecam.phillypolice.com/ to become part of this new program.
“I am bringing together all the parties in the city who work with young people and who can have a real impact on stopping these senseless acts of violence. Our approach will be led by a need to quickly apprehend offenders and to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law while also considering long-term solutions that will include reaching out through the community.”
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