is tightening security measures involving teenagers, shopping center management announced Monday. The statement was released 10 days after a that led to the arrest of a 14-year-old girl.
Made effective on Dec. 2, The Avenue now requires anyone under 17 to be accompanied by a parent or guardian 21 years of age or older after 9 p.m., according to the statement.
The previous "Youth Escort Policy," instituted in 2005, required that "children" be accompanied by a parent or guardian in the common areas of the shopping center, including the outdoor plazas, sidewalks and parking lots.
Youths were able to attend a movie or shop on their own and then meet up afterward with an adult to travel home. The new policy, however, requires "adult supervision in all areas of the shopping center after 9 p.m.," according to the statement.
Adults are now required to purchase a movie ticket and "remain in direct supervision of anyone under 17 while attending movie screenings" after 9 p.m., according to the center website.
“As one of the most successful outdoor retail and entertainment centers in the region, The Avenue at White Marsh wants to lead the way in providing a welcome and safe environment for all of its visitors,” Kathleen McLaren, the center's general manager, stated in the announcement. “This change is another proactive step in that direction.”
The has received several complaints about disturbances caused by groups of teenagers traveling from to The Avenue and crowding around the AMC Loews White Marsh 16 theaters, mainly on Saturday nights, precinct commanders said.
One of the most recent cases involved a group of teenagers who began fighting , Patch .
Officers attempted to break up the fight using pepper spray. K-9 and helicopter units also responded. One 14-year-old female student was arrested and charged as a juvenile with assault, a police report showed.
The full text of the new policy is available here.
How will the new policy impact you? Are you comfortable shopping at The Avenue when groups of teenagers are around? Tell us in the comments.