Adult chaperones now required for teens at New Jersey mall on weekends, will be ‘strictly’ enforced

Due to gangs of kids running wild in the Deptford Mall in New Jersey, an old policy is now being strictly enforced that mandates minors be accompanied by an adult on weekends.

Personal chaperones comprised of adults 25 or older are now required for kids and teens from Friday evening through Sunday night at the mall. The adults will be held responsible for the minors’ actions.

“The Deptford Mall stated they are reinforcing a ‘Parental Escort Policy’ that requires children and teens under the age of 18 to be accompanied by an adult during the evening weekend hours,” Fox News reported.

“We’re committed to providing an enjoyable experience for all our guests. We reserve the right to limit groups larger than four persons when not accompanied by an individual 25 or older. We also reserve the right to limit access of anyone under the age of 18 from 5 p.m. on Friday through Sunday when not accompanied by an adult age 25 or older,” the Deptford Township Police Department said in a posted announcement.

(Video Credit: NBC10 Philadelphia)

Police are very serious about the rules and are warning everyone that they will be “strictly” enforced. Management is also asserting that it may ask for proof of age from not only minors but their chaperones as well.

“Last year, one of New Jersey’s biggest shopping malls began requiring shoppers under the age of 18 to be accompanied by an adult on weekend nights amid an increase in disruptive behavior,” Fox News noted.

“The Deptford Mall joins several other businesses across the country cracking down on minors being inside their establishments without proper adult supervision,” the media outlet added.

(Credit: Deptford Township Police Department)

According to NBC10 Philadelphia, the mall’s policy includes:

  • Visitors under the age of 18 years are required to be accompanied by a parent or supervising adult age 25 or older on Friday through Sunday night after 5 p.m. and must remain within the company of their parent or supervising adults.
  • Unsupervised children shopping prior to 5 p.m. on Friday through Sunday nights must leave the mall by 5 p.m. or be joined by a parent or supervising adult 25 or older.
  • Proof of age may be required for the teen or child and/or supervising adult. Those without proper identification will not be allowed to enter and may be asked to leave the property.
  • Valid ID includes a state-issued driver’s license or ID card, a military ID, a school ID card, or a passport. The ID must be tamper-proof and include a photograph and date of birth.
  • One parent may escort all of his or her children. One guardian over 25 years of age may escort up to four children. Supervising adults are also responsible for the actions of the children they accompany.

“The spokesperson also said the policy applies specifically to the mall’s common area and that large retail stores, restaurants, and retailers with exterior entrances have their own specific rules,” NBC10 Philadelphia reported.

“They’re coming in groups,” Tina Castelli, a Deptford resident who works at the mall, told NBC10 Philadelphia in an interview. “They’re either fighting with each other or they’re just vandalizing. Like they’re running wild and they’re making parents scared. Elderly people are scared. Young kids are scared they’re going to be jumped by these kids.”

Malls aren’t the only outlets cracking down on unruly minors.

“A Pennsylvania Chick-fil-A implemented a similar policy back in February after unruly ‘children and teenagers’ continued to cause disruptions,” Fox News reported. “Following a recent string of incidents, a Wisconsin Taco John’s implemented a new policy that bans ‘unsupervised minors’ from the restaurant back in December.”


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