Tougher curfew eyed

Parents or guardians in Red Deer could receive fines when teenagers under 16 break curfew if recommendations from the Crime Prevention Advisory Committee move forward.

Parents or guardians in Red Deer could receive fines when teenagers under 16 break curfew if recommendations from the Crime Prevention Advisory Committee move forward.

The recommendations will go before Red Deer city council on Monday, with council determining what to do next.

The committee has recommended the current curfew bylaw expand the curfew time for youth under age 16 to midnight to 6 a.m., rather than continuing with the current at 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. curfew and then incorporate the curfew with the Community Standards Bylaw. During the curfew time, young people must be at home or, if out in the community, they must be in the company of a parent or guardian.

TerryLee Ropchan, chair of the Crime Prevention Advisory Committee, said committee members took the bus schedules into consideration when determining the curfew time.

She said they wanted to give young people enough time to catch the last bus and walk home without breaking curfew.

The committee hasn’t offered a suggestion for a fine amount, but the report says “That having the parent or guardian also receive the specified penalty be explored as part of the revision to the Community Standards Bylaw.”

The committee also recommends that an option be explored that would see alternatives, such as community hours or counselling, be allowed in payment of the specific fine.

Ropchan said the committee feels the fine should be appropriate with other fines in the Community Standards bylaw, but it will be up to city council and the Inspections and Licensing Department to determine what amount would be appropriate.

Northwood Estates Neighbourhood Watch Committee first came to Red Deer city council in June 2009 to have the curfew period for youth under 16 expanded from 1 to 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The issue was directed to the Crime Prevention Advisory Committee for consideration and then on to city administration in November 2009 to work with the committee to come up with recommendations for the city.